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)
ResidenceWoodside, California, US[1]
NationalityUnited States
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
OccupationSoftware developer and investor
Known forFounder of Siebel Systems,
Net worthIncrease $2.9 billion (January 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Stacey Siebel
Parent(s)Arthur F. Siebel
Ruth Schmid
WebsiteThomas M. Siebel

Thomas M. Siebel (born November 20, 1952) is an American billionaire businessman. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of, an AI software platform and applications company.[2]

He is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in investment management, commercial real estate, agribusiness, and philanthropy.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[4][5][6] He has five brothers and one sister: Frances Cihak; Richard (who served as Cook County Commissioner), James, William, Robert, and John.[7] His family was Lutheran.[4][7][8] 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,[9] and an honorary doctorate of engineering.[10]

Business career[edit]

From 1984 through 1990, Siebel was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of management positions.[11][12] Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992.[12] Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems,[13] which was acquired by Oracle in January 2006.[14] Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company.[3]

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.[15]

In 2015, Siebel founded the Siebel Energy Institute to research the data management of energy infrastructure monitoring data.[16] He is currently Chairman and CEO of[17]

Honors and awards[edit]

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.[18] 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.[18] The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.[18]

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.[19][20] He is a Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University,[21] and is the Chairman of the Board for the American Agora Foundation.[22] He was a member of the Trustees of Princeton University from 2008 to 2011.[23] He is the Founder and Chairman of the Montana Meth Project[24] and the Siebel Scholars Foundation,[25] 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.[26][27] In 2007 and 2008, he was named one of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists by BusinessWeek.[28]

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.[29][30]

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.[31][32][33][34] The company earned other awards under Siebel's leadership:

  • One of the 50 best companies to work for in Silicon Valley by San Jose magazine in 2004[35]
  • The Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, Harvard Business School, 2003[35]
  • Among IT 100 List of Top-Performing Companies in High Tech - BusinessWeek, 2001[35]
  • The World's Most Influential Software Company – BusinessWeek, 2000[35]
  • The Most Influential Company in IT, Intelligent Enterprise, 2000[35]
  • Fasting Growing Technology Company, Deloitte & Touche, 1999[35]

Call Center Magazine inducted Siebel to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service.[35] 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.[36] He has also been named:

  • Top 10 CEOs - Investor's Business Daily, 2000[35]
  • University of Illinois Presidential Award and Medallion, 2001[37]
  • One of Top 25 Managers in Global Business – BusinessWeek, 1999 to 2001[30]
  • One of the Top 25 Executives - Computer Reseller News, 2001 and 2002 (Readers Choice in 2002)[35]
  • CEO of the Year – Industry Week, 2002[38]
  • David Packard Award – Business Executives for National Security, 2002[29]
  • Thomas M. Siebel, Master Entrepreneur of the Year – Ernst & Young, 2003[39]
  • Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Industry Award - University of Montana, 2006[40]
  • The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists – BusinessWeek, 2007, 2008[28]
  • Lincoln Academy Laureate – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois (Illinois' Highest Honor) 2008[41]
  • Engineering at Illinois Hall of Fame - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010[42]
  • Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution, 2010[43]
  • Ranked #5 of the World's Top 25 Philanthropists – Barron's, 2009[26]
  • Ranked #3 of the World's Top 25 Philanthropists – Barron's, 2010[27]
  • Alumni Achievement Awards - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013[42]
  • One of the World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators - FORTUNE magazine, 2014[44]


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.[45] The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Siebel Energy Institute, the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana, and the Montana Meth Project.[3][46] 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.[47] He was also recognized for his work on the program with the 2006 Director's Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[48][49][50][51][52]

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.[53] 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.[54] Siebel pledged an additional $100 million gift to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.[55]

In 2005, Siebel founded the Montana Meth Project.[46] Siebel continues to develop philanthropic initiatives.[49] [50] [51] [52]

Political involvement[edit]

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.[56][57][58][59]

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.[60]

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.[61]

Personal life[edit]

A part-time Montana resident, Siebel owns and operates the Dearborn Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, a working cattle ranch.[62] Siebel's time in Montana has lasted 35 years.

Elephant incident[edit]

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.[63][64] They radioed for help, but it was three hours before he received any medical treatment.[63] 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.[65] 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.[64]

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.[65] After enduring 19 reconstructive surgeries total over two and a half years, Siebel has now made a full recovery.[66] In 2013, National Geographic included Siebel's account in its TV series Dead or Alive: Trampled on Safari.[67]


  • Taking Care of eBusiness (2001) ISBN 0-385-50227-3
  • Cyber Rules (with Pat House) (2001) ISBN 0385494122
  • Virtual Selling (with Michael Malone) (2002) ISBN 0-7432-3649-1


  1. ^ a b c d Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Thomas Siebel January 2018
  2. ^ "Leadership -". Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Develpixel. "First Virtual Group". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Chicago Tribune: "Obituary - Siebel, Ruth A." January 27, 2006
  5. ^ Wilmette Public Library newspapers Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 17 Nov 1955, p. 1 retrieved April 2, 2013
  6. ^ "Full text of "Brown alumni monthly"". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 12 Feb 1987, Obituaries, p. 125 retrieved April 2, 2013
  8. ^ Chicago Tribune: "Obituary Arthur F. Siebel February 08, 1987
  9. ^ Businessweek: "TOM SIEBEL--CEO, Siebel Systems Inc." By Gabrielle Saveri August 14, 1997
  10. ^ University of Illinois News Release: "Four Chosen to Receive Honorary Degrees at U. of I. May Commencement" By Sharita Forrest February 16, 2006
  11. ^ Top Tech Execs: Tom Siebel, Forbes
  12. ^ a b Tom Siebel, Fast Company
  13. ^ 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.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Wynne, Bob; Bessinger, Krista (January 31, 2006). "Oracle Completes Acquisition Of Siebel" (Press release). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  15. ^ " Thomas M. Siebel: Books". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  16. ^ Tilley, Aaron (August 5, 2015). "Tech Billionaire Tom Siebel Launches Institute To Tackle Proliferation Of Power Grid Data". Forbes. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  17. ^ Nusca, Andrew (February 25, 2016). "Tom Siebel, Tech Pioneer, Bets Big on the Internet of Things". Fortune. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects National and International Scholars, Artists, Philanthropists, Business and Civic Leaders American Academy of Arts & Sciences, April 24, 2013
  19. ^ Stanford University Archived 2010-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "News Archive » Department of Business Administration". 11 September 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  21. ^ Hoover Institution Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ American Agora Foundation Archived 2009-06-07 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Princeton University, September 23, 2011
  24. ^ "The Meth Project". Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  25. ^ "A Class Apart: About the Siebel Scholars Program". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  26. ^ a b The 25 Best Givers 2009, Barron's
  27. ^ a b The 25 Best Givers 2010 Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine, Barron's
  28. ^ a b The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists Archived 2007-11-18 at the Wayback Machine, BusinessWeek
  29. ^ a b Business Executives for National Security Honor Thomas M. Siebel with David Packard Leadership Award[dead link], Canadian Corporate News
  30. ^ a b The 25 Top Managers of the Year, BusinessWeek
  31. ^ Superstar Tom Siebel Spells out the Basics Archived 2008-12-09 at the Wayback Machine, The Wharton Journal
  32. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 1999, Fortune magazine
  33. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 2000, Fortune magazine
  34. ^ FORTUNE's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies 2001, Fortune magazine
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i U of I Deans Distinguished Business Lecture Series Spring 2010
  36. ^ CRM Magazine Inducts Thomas M. Siebel into CRM Hall of Fame August 27, 2003
  37. ^ Presidential Award and Medallion presented to Thomas M. Siebel Archived 2010-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, University of Illinois
  38. ^ CEO Of The Year -- The King Of Customer[permanent dead link], Industry Week
  39. ^ Northern California Ernst & Young Recognizes Thomas M. Siebel as Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Wire
  40. ^ Lewis & Clark Pioneer In Industry Awards Honor Tom Siebel And William Allen Montana Associated Technology Roundtables, September 3, 2006
  41. ^ GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES 2008 LINCOLN ACADEMY LAUREATES[permanent dead link], The Lincoln Academy of Illinois
  42. ^ a b University of Illinois Alumni Awards Archived 2014-06-17 at, University of Illinois
  43. ^ Woodrow Wilson Awards, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  44. ^ The World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators FORTUNE, May 1, 2014
  45. ^ Develpixel. "First Virtual Group". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  46. ^ a b The Anti Drug Lord, Good Magazine, June 2008
  47. ^ Huffington Post article: “The Anti-Drug Lord” by Corey Binns June 18, 2008
  48. ^ Salt Lake City Community Outreach Federal Bureau of Investigation
  49. ^ a b Catalytic Philanthropy – Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2009
  50. ^ a b The Mercury News Interview: Tom Siebel, chairman of First Virtual Group and the Siebel Foundation., Brandon Bailey, Mercury News, 06/19/2009
  51. ^ a b Tom Siebel: The Energy Free Home Challenge, Forbes, June 2009
  52. ^ a b Back to the Garage: How Economic Turmoil Breeds Innovation, Wired (magazine), December 2008
  53. ^ Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science Archived 2005-04-04 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ Thomas M. Siebel Chair Archived 2013-02-17 at
  55. ^ U of I announces record $100 million gift from Alumnus Thomas Siebel Archived 2007-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, University of Illinois
  56. ^ Silicon Valley Republicans to welcome Palin to tech giant's Woodside fundraiser: While California Republicans aren't counting on carrying California in November, they are seizing the GOP VP candidate's sudden stardom to raise cash in the state. Mary Anne Ostrom, Mercury News, September 6, 2008
  57. ^ Woodside fundraiser for Palin popular, but Democratic women in Silicon Valley skeptical about the Palin effect, Mary Anne Ostrom and Linda Goldston, Mercury News, September 12, 2008
  58. ^ Palin cancels stop in California, Mary Anne Ostrom, Mercury News, September 18, 2008
  59. ^ Breaking bread with Sarah Palin, Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, September 18, 2008
  60. ^ C3 Energy Hosts Senator Max Baucus, August 21, 2013
  61. ^ C3 Energy Hosts Congresswoman Jackie Speier Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine, April 29, 2014
  62. ^ "MGWA: Siebel Foundation". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  63. ^ a b Tech mogul Tom Siebel injured by elephant, by Julia Prodis Sulek and Brandon Bailey, Mercury News, 09/03/2009
  64. ^ a b A Golfer Never Forgets, by Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest, July 2010
  65. ^ a b Tom Siebel On Being Gored By An Elephant, as told to Steven Bertoni, Forbes magazine, 10/11/2010
  66. ^ Thomas Siebel, Forbes magazine, 6/26/14
  67. ^ Trampled on Safari, National Geographic, 6/26/14

External links[edit]