Thomas Siebel

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Thomas Siebel
Born(1952-11-20) November 20, 1952 (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois
ResidenceWoodside, California[1]
NationalityUnited States
Alma materB.A., M.A., M.B.A.
University of Illinois
OccupationSoftware developer and investor
Known forFounder of Siebel Systems
Net worthIncrease $1.9 billion (Sept 2013)[1]
Spouse(s)Stacey Siebel
ParentsArthur F. Siebel
Ruth Schmid
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Thomas Siebel
Born(1952-11-20) November 20, 1952 (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois
ResidenceWoodside, California[1]
NationalityUnited States
Alma materB.A., M.A., M.B.A.
University of Illinois
OccupationSoftware developer and investor
Known forFounder of Siebel Systems
Net worthIncrease $1.9 billion (Sept 2013)[1]
Spouse(s)Stacey Siebel
ParentsArthur F. Siebel
Ruth Schmid

Thomas Siebel (born November 20, 1952) is a business executive. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of C3, an energy efficiency and smart grid analytics software company. He is the Chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in investment management, commercial real estate, agribusiness, and philanthropy.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Siebel was born in Chicago, one of seven children of Arthur F. Siebel, a Harvard educated lawyer, and Ruth (née Schmid) Siebel, a housewife.[3][4] He has five brothers and one sister: Frances Cihak; Richard (who served as Cook County Commissioner), James, William, Robert, and John.[5] His family was Lutheran.[3][5][6] Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.A. in history, an M.B.A., and an M.S. in computer science.[7]


From 1984 through 1990, Siebel was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of management positions.[8][9] Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992.[9] Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems,[10] which was acquired by Oracle in January 2006.[11] Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company.[2]

Siebel has been a frequent industry spokesperson. His books include: Cyber Rules (1999), and Taking Care of eBusiness (2001) published by Doubleday, and Virtual Selling (2002), published by the Free Press.[12]

Honors and awards[edit]

Siebel serves on the Board of Advisors of the Stanford University College of Engineering, the University of Illinois College of Engineering, and the University of California at Berkeley College of Engineering.[13][14] He is a Director of the University of Illinois Foundation[15] and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University,[16] and is the Chairman of the Board for the American Agora Foundation.[17] He is the Founder and Chairman of the Meth Project[18] and the Siebel Scholars Foundation,[19] and Chairman of the Siebel Foundation. He was ranked #5 and #3 of the world's top 25 philanthropists by Barron's Magazine in 2009 and 2010, respectively.[20][21] In 2007 and 2008, he was named one of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists by BusinessWeek.[22]

Siebel received the David Packard Award for his achievements as a technology entrepreneur and his contributions to national security from the Business Executives for National Security in 2002 and was named one of the Top 25 Managers in the World by BusinessWeek in 2000 and 2001.[23][24]

In 1999, 2000, and 2001, Fortune magazine recognized Siebel Systems as the fastest, third fastest, and second fastest growing company in the United States, respectively.[25][26][27][28] Call Center Magazine inducted him to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service.[29]


The Siebel Foundation (founded 1996) is active in support of the homeless and underprivileged, educational and research programs, methamphetamine abuse prevention, and alternative energy solutions.[36] The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana, and the Meth Project Foundation.[2][37]

In 2001, Siebel donated $32 million to his alma mater, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to build the Siebel Center for Computer Science, opened in spring 2004.[38] In 2006, Siebel donated $4 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish two endowed full professorships, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science and the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science. [39] Siebel pledged an additional $100 million gift to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.[40]

Siebel continues to develop philanthropic initiatives.[41] [42] [43] [44]

Energy Free Home Challenge[edit]

In 2007, the philanthropic Siebel Foundation created the Energy Free Home Foundation. The goal was to offer $20 million in global incentive prizes to design and build a 2,000 square foot (186 square meter) three-bedroom, two bathroom home with (1) net-zero annual utility bills that also has (2) high market appeal, and (3) costs no more than a conventional home to construct.[45]

The plan included funding to build the top ten entries at $250,000 each, a $10 million first prize, and then a total of 100 such homes to be built and sold to the public.

Beginning in 2009, Tom Siebel made many presentations about his Energy Free Home Challenge.[46] The Siebel Foundation Report stated that the Energy Free Home Challenge was "Launching in late 2009".[47]

Berkeley National Laboratory (University of California, Berkeley) participated in writing the "Feasibility of Achieving Zero-Net-Energy, Zero-Net-Cost Homes"[48] for the $20-million Energy Free Home Challenge.

Although the website is still defined, everything about the $20-million Challenge has been deleted without explanation.[49]

2008 Republican presidential campaign[edit]

In the 2008 United States presidential election campaign, Siebel provided backing to the Republican ticket. It was Siebel who introduced Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin to the crowd at a California fund-raising brunch with the quote "Sarah Palin carries the flag of outrage ... for each of us who cries out, 'We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore.'" He remained an active organizer up until the elections.[50] Siebel organized a Republican fundraising Gala in honor of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, where the asking price for a snapshot with her and a seat at the head table was $50,000.[51][52] A $2,500 donation was to come with a John McCain lapel pin.[53][54] Local activists called for protest of the event.[55] However, the event was rescheduled, then canceled altogether.[56]

Personal life[edit]

A part-time Montana resident, Siebel owns and operates the Dearborn Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, and the N Bar Ranch in Grass Range, Montana, both working cattle ranches.[57] Siebel's time in Montana has lasted 35 years.

Elephant incident[edit]

Siebel said that on the morning of August 1, 2009, he and a guide were in Tanzania, observing a group of elephants from 200 yards away, when an elephant charged Siebel's guide and then turned on Siebel.[58] Siebel suffered several injuries: his left leg was impaled, his right was crushed, and his ribs were broken. Siebel is in the process of making a full recovery.[59]



  1. ^ a b c Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Thomas Siebel September 2013
  2. ^ a b c First Virtual Group
  3. ^ a b Chicago Tribune: "Obituary - Siebel, Ruth A." January 27, 2006
  4. ^ Wilmette Public Library newspapers Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 17 Nov 1955, p. 1 retrieved April 2, 2013
  5. ^ a b Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 12 Feb 1987, Obituaries, p. 125 retrieved April 2, 2013
  6. ^ Chicago Tribune: "Obituary Arthur F. Siebel February 08, 1987
  7. ^ Businessweek: "TOM SIEBEL--CEO, Siebel Systems Inc." By Gabrielle Saveri August 14, 1997
  8. ^ Top Tech Execs: Tom Siebel, Forbes
  9. ^ a b Tom Siebel, Fast Company
  10. ^ Siebel, Tom; Fryer, Bronwyn (1 March 2001). "High-Tech the Old-Fashioned Way: An Interview with Tom Siebel of Siebel Systems". Harvard Business. Harvard Business School. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  11. ^ Wynne, Bob; Bessinger, Krista (January 31, 2006). "Oracle Completes Acquisition Of Siebel" (Press release). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  12. ^ Amazon
  13. ^ Stanford University
  14. ^ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  15. ^ University of Illinois Foundation
  16. ^ Hoover Institution
  17. ^ American Agora Foundation
  18. ^ Meth Project Foundation
  19. ^ Siebel Scholars Foundation
  20. ^ a b The 25 Best Givers 2009, Barron's
  21. ^ a b The 25 Best Givers 2010, Barron's
  22. ^ a b The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists, BusinessWeek
  23. ^ a b Business Executives for National Security Honor Thomas M. Siebel with David Packard Leadership Award, Canadian Corporate News
  24. ^ a b The 25 Top Managers of the Year, BusinessWeek
  25. ^ Superstar Tom Siebel Spells out the Basics, The Wharton Journal
  26. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 1999, Fortune Magazine
  27. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 2000, Fortune Magazine
  28. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 2001, Fortune Magazine
  29. ^ CRM Magazine Inducts Thomas M. Siebel into CRM Hall of Fame, Business Wire
  30. ^ Presidential Award and Medallion presented to Thomas M. Siebel, University of Illinois
  31. ^ CEO Of The Year -- The King Of Customer, Industry Week
  32. ^ Northern California Ernst & Young Recognizes Thomas M. Siebel as Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Wire
  34. ^ University of Illinois Hall of Fame, University of Illinois
  35. ^ Woodrow Wilson Awards, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  36. ^ Siebel Foundation
  37. ^ The Anti Drug Lord, Good Magazine, June 2008
  38. ^ Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science
  39. ^ Thomas M. Siebel Chair
  40. ^ U of I announces record $100 million gift from Alumnus Thomas Siebel, University of Illinois
  41. ^ Catalytic Philanthropy – Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2009
  42. ^ The Mercury News Interview: Tom Siebel, chairman of First Virtual Group and the Siebel Foundation., Brandon Bailey, Mercury News, 06/19/2009
  43. ^ Tom Siebel: The Energy Free Home Challenge, Forbes, June 2009
  44. ^ Back to the Garage: How Economic Turmoil Breeds Innovation, Wired (magazine), December 2008
  45. ^ Goals of the Siebel Foundation Energy Free Home Challenge
  46. ^ Thomas Siebel Pre-Announcing Free Energy Home Challenge in Forbes Interview
  47. ^ 2008 Siebel Foundation Report
  48. ^ University of California, Berkeley - Feasibility of Achieving Zero-Net-Energy, Zero-Net-Cost Homes
  49. ^ All information about the Energy Free Home Challenge has been deleted from
  50. ^ Ostrom, Mary Ann (October 6, 2008). "Palin Rallies Bay Area With Obama Attacks". San Jose Mercury News (MediaNews Group). Mercury News Article ID: 1018820. 
  51. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (September 12, 2008). "Sarah Palin and California". Capitol Alert (Sacramento, California: The Sacramento Bee). Retrieved 24 August 2009. [dead link]
  52. ^ "Palin In Bay Area, Defends Obama Terrorist Claim". Burlingame, California: CBS. Associated Press. October 6, 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2009. [dead link]
  53. ^ Blood, Michael R. (September 8, 2008). "For Palin, Fundraising as Usual in Calif.: GOP offers access, photos with Palin for $50,000 in Calif.". Los Angeles: ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 24 August 2009. [dead link]
  54. ^ Carla, Marinucci (October 6, 2008). "Campaign notebook: our weekend with Sarah". Politics Blog (San Francisco, California: The San Francisco Chronicle). Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  55. ^ Protest Palin Visit Sept. 25!, by Mark C. Eades, Wednesday Sep 10th, 2008 11:08 AM
  56. ^ Sarah Palin's Silicon Valley Affair,
  57. ^ Montana Game Wardens Association
  58. ^ Tech mogul Tom Siebel injured by elephant, by Julia Prodis Sulek and Brandon Bailey, Mercury News, 09/03/2009
  59. ^ Tom Siebel On Being Gored By An Elephant, as told to Steven Bertoni, Forbes Magazine, 10/11/2010


External links[edit]