Thomas Siebel

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Thomas Siebel
Tom Siebel 2013.png
Thomas Siebel in 2013
Thomas M. Siebel

(1952-11-20) November 20, 1952 (age 66)
Residence Woodside, California, US [1]
NationalityUnited States
Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
OccupationSoftware developer and investor
Known forFounder of Siebel Systems,
Net worthIncrease2.svg $2.9 billion (January 2018) [1]
Spouse(s)Stacey Siebel
Children4 [1]
Parent(s)Arthur F. Siebel
Ruth Schmid
Website Thomas M. Siebel

Thomas M. Siebel (born November 20, 1952) is an American billionaire businessman, technologist, and author. He was the founder of enterprise software company Siebel Systems and is the founder, chairman, and CEO of, an artificial intelligence software platform and applications company. [2] [3]

Billionaire person who has a net worth of at least one billion (1,000,000,000) units of a given currency

A billionaire, in countries that use the short scale number naming system, is a person with a net worth of at least one billion units of a given currency, usually major currencies such as the United States dollar, the euro or the pound sterling. Additionally, a centibillionaire has been deemed applicable to a billionaire worth one hundred billion dollars (100,000,000,000), a mark first achieved in 2017 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $112 billion in a report issued in early 2018. The American business magazine Forbes produces a global list of known U.S. dollar billionaires every year and updates an Internet version of this list in real time. The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world's first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916, and still holds the title of history's wealthiest individual.

In computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as "learning" and "problem solving".


He is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in investment management, commercial real estate, agribusiness, and philanthropy. [4]

A holding company is a company that owns other companies' outstanding stock. A holding company usually does not produce goods or services itself; rather, its purpose is to own shares of other companies to form a corporate group. Holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners and can allow the ownership and control of a number of different companies.

Investment management is the professional asset management of various securities and other assets in order to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions or private investors.

Agribusiness agriculture-related industry

Agribusiness is the business of agricultural production. The term is a portmanteau of agriculture and business and was coined in 1957 by John Davis and Ray Goldberg. It includes agrichemicals, breeding, crop production, distribution, farm machinery, processing, and seed supply, as well as marketing and retail sales. All agents of the food and fiber value chain and those institutions that influence it are part of the agribusiness system.

Siebel has been a frequent industry spokesperson. He is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction (RosettaBooks, 2019) [5] and three previous books: Cyber Rules (1999), and Taking Care of eBusiness (2001) published by Doubleday, and Virtual Selling (1996), published by the Free Press. [6]

Early life and education

Siebel was born in Chicago, one of seven children of Arthur Francis Siebel, a Harvard-educated lawyer, and Ruth A. (née Schmid) Siebel, a housewife. [7] [8] [9] He has five brothers and one sister: Frances Cihak; Richard (who served as Cook County Commissioner), James, William, Robert, and John. [10] His family was Lutheran. [7] [10] [11] Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.A. in history, an M.B.A., an M.S. in computer science, [12] and an honorary doctorate of engineering. [13]

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has often been cited as the world's top university by most publishers.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners is a legislative body made up of 17 commissioners who are elected by district, and a president who is elected county wide, all for four-year terms. Cook County, which includes the City of Chicago, is the United States' second-largest county with a population of 5.2 million residents. The county board sets policy and laws for the county regarding property, public health services, public safety, and maintenance of county highways. It is presided over by the County Board President, currently Toni Preckwinkle.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Business career

From 1984 through 1990, Siebel was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of management positions. [14] [15] Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992. [15] Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems, [16] which was acquired by Oracle in January 2006. [17] Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company. [4]

Oracle Corporation American multinational computer technology corporation

Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Redwood Shores, California. The company sells database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products—particularly its own brands of database management systems. In 2018, Oracle was the third-largest software company by revenue.

Sybase Enterprise software and services company

Sybase was an enterprise software and services company that produced software to manage and analyze information in relational databases, with facilities located in California and Massachusetts. Sybase was acquired by SAP in 2010; SAP ceased using the Sybase name in 2014.

Chief executive officer Highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator

The chief executive officer (CEO), or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

Siebel Systems

Siebel Systems was a software company principally engaged in the design, development, marketing, and support of customer relationship management (CRM) applications. As an executive at Oracle, Siebel proposed the idea of creating enterprise software applications tailored for marketing, sales, and customer service functions. Oracle management declined his proposal. Siebel founded Siebel Systems in 1993 to pursue that opportunity. [18] In 1999, Siebel Systems became the fastest-growing technology company in the United States. [19] Siebel Systems grew to more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion before merging with Oracle in January 2006. [20]

Software Non-tangible executable component of a computer

Computer software, or simply software, is a collection of data or computer instructions that tell the computer how to work. This is in contrast to physical hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all information processed by computer systems, programs and data. Computer software includes computer programs, libraries and related non-executable data, such as online documentation or digital media. Computer hardware and software require each other and neither can be realistically used on its own.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

In 2009, Siebel founded, originally to provide enterprise software for energy management. [21] currently provides an enterprise AI software platform and applications for multiple commercial uses, including energy management, predictive maintenance, fraud detection, anti-money laundering, inventory optimization, and predictive CRM. [22] Its customers include 3M, Royal Dutch Shell, the US Air Force, and New York Power Authority. [23] [24] was included in the 2019 “CNBC Disruptor 50” list, with a valuation of $2.1 billion. [25]

Enterprise AI software applies artificial intelligence methods, such as machine learning and neural networks, to solve complex analytical problems in commerce, industry, and government. [26] Organizations use enterprise AI software to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve operations. [27] The US Air Force, for example, uses AI to predict engine failure in aircraft before a failure occurs in order to improve maintenance and increase aircraft readiness. [28]

In 2015, Siebel founded the Siebel Energy Institute to research the data management of energy infrastructure monitoring data. [29]

Honors and awards

In 2013, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected Tom Siebel as a member along with some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. [30] According to the news release, since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. [30] The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. [30]

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. [31] [32] He is a Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, [33] and is the Chairman of the Board for the American Agora Foundation. [34] He was a member of the Trustees of Princeton University from 2008 to 2011. [35] He is the Founder and Chairman of the Montana Meth Project [36] and the Siebel Scholars Foundation, [37] 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. [38] [39] In 2007 and 2008, he was named one of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists by BusinessWeek . [40]

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. [41] [42]

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. [43] [44] [45] [46] The company earned other awards under Siebel's leadership:

Call Center Magazine inducted Siebel to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service. [47] CRM Magazine inducted him into its inaugural CRM Hall of Fame in 2003 in recognition of his vision, strong leadership, and enduring commitment to innovation. [48] He has also been named:


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. [57] The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Siebel Energy Institute, the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana, and the Montana Meth Project. [4] [58] The Office of National Drug Control Policy awarded the Meth Project a White House commendation as the most influential prevention campaign in 2006, and Tom Siebel accepted the award on the program's behalf. [59] He was also recognized for his work on the program with the 2006 Director's Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. [60] [61] [62] [63] [64]

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. [65] 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. [66] Siebel pledged an additional $100 million gift to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. [67]

In 2005, Siebel founded the Montana Meth Project. [58] Siebel continues to develop philanthropic initiatives. [61] [62] [63] [64]

Political involvement

From 2009 to 2014, Siebel made a total of $335,300 in political contributions. Approximately 90% of this was independent and 10% was for Republican Party candidates. [1]

In September 2008, Siebel hosted a campaign stop for Sarah Palin at his home. [68] [69] [70] [71]

In 2013, C3 Energy hosted former Senator Max Baucus from Montana, and Siebel and Baucus discussed the ways in which information technology addresses the utility industry's big data challenge. [72]

In April 2014, Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California met with C3 Energy executives, including Siebel, to discuss how the latest developments in IT are being applied to the power grid. [73]

Personal life

A part-time Montana resident, Siebel owns and operates the Dearborn Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, a working cattle ranch. [74] Siebel's time in Montana has lasted 35 years.

Elephant incident

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, breaking several ribs, goring him in the left leg, and crushing the right. [75] [76] They radioed for help, but it was three hours before he received any medical treatment. [75] He was flown to the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, where they cleaned his wounds and stabilized his leg. He was then flown back to the United States on a 20-hour flight with only 10-hours of morphine and 15 hours of fluids. He had lost half of his fluids and was put in the intensive care unit. [77] He was moved to Stanford Hospital where, over the next six months, they performed 11 surgeries, fixed his ribs and shoulder, and saved his left leg. [76]

In September 2010, a year after the attack, Siebel had undergone 16 surgeries and an Ilizarov apparatus external fixator to mend, lengthen, and reshape the tibia of his right leg. [77] After enduring 19 reconstructive surgeries total over two and a half years, Siebel has now made a full recovery. [78] In 2013, National Geographic included Siebel's account in its TV series Dead or Alive: Trampled on Safari. [79]


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