I just got notification that Open Text is buying Vignette for approximately $310 million; it will become a wholly owned subsidiary.
Vignette is one of those classic high tech stories, full of drama. The story I was told by Vignette management was that in its early days, as the company was starting to get into web content management, it went around to a variety of enterprises to get a feel for what clients needed. In the course of this research, they talked to Halsey Minor at CNET, who showed them what CNET had done. Impressed, they bought the software and that was the beginning of Vignette.
In the dot.com era, Vignette was unstoppable. Headquartered in Austin, TX it grew by leaps and bounds and started to feel invincible. I remember spending a day at Vignette at the height of its growth and being shown the multiple fussball tables for developers, the many flavors of microwave popcorn, and the conference rooms full of Aeron chairs. At that point, I knew Vignette was heading for a fall, and told them so. Incredulous, they basically told me I had no grip on reality. Two years later, when the dot.com bust came along, it turned out I was right and they were wrong.
Vignette has never really recovered from those days. Competitors began offering somewhat similar web content management systems for a lot less money, and the portal business became a lot less trendy as well. So Vignette has survived, but it was only a matter of time before the company got bought. Now we know who the buyer is.