How software visionaries and leaders Aneel Bhusri and David Duffield teamed up to found Workday

Aneel Bhusri, chairman, co-founder and co-CEO, Workday, Inc.

Aneel Bhusri, chairman, co-founder and co-CEO, Workday, Inc.

NCA Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year


Award recipient


Aneel Bhusri

Chairman, co-founder and co-CEO

Workday, Inc.


David Duffield

Co-founder, co-CEO and chief customer advocate

Workday, Inc.

David Duffield, co-founder, co-CEO and chief customer advocate, Workday, Inc.

David Duffield, co-founder, co-CEO and chief customer advocate, Workday, Inc.


Upon graduating from Stanford University business school in 1993, Aneel Bhusri wanted to work for a tech company, and chose PeopleSoft largely because of founder David Duffield. They went out for beers, and Bhusri was impressed that a CEO would take a newbie out to get to know him. He started in an entry-level position but quickly took over products, and ended up being the No. 2 person at PeopleSoft in 1999.

PeopleSoft grew to be the world’s second-largest enterprise resource planning application software company before being acquired in 2005.

So, in 2005, the two co-founded a new company, Workday, Inc., which produces human resources software, heavily relying on cloud technology

Bhusri considers 2013 to be a key transitional year for Workday. The company historically developed and sold its HR products in the U.S., but in the next 18 months is entering the European market, and offering financial solution products to its customers.

The two founders hope Workday emerges as the dominant player in the enterprise IT space in the next five years.

Workday operates according to its core values: employees, customer service, integrity, innovation, fun and profitability. These values drive the company’s business behavior, define what’s important to them and inspire the company’s culture.

Bhusri believes that you can work hard to build a strong company while still having a lot of fun. When Workday hits its targets, employees are given a week off, as well as a stipend, and it’s not unusual to see employees’ dogs curled up next to their owners in the office.

Duffield, focusing on the customers, has been key in the high satisfaction level.

Consistent with their personal philanthropic activities, Bhusri and Duffield established the Workday Foundation in 2012 with a 500,000-share donation. The company also offers its employees various ways to give back to the community.

How to reach: Workday, Inc.,

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