Thomas M. Siebel (born November 20, 1952) is an American business executive. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of C3 IoT, an IoT (Internet of Things) platform and applications company. He is the Chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in investment management, commercial real estate, agribusiness, and philanthropy.
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. He has five brothers and one sister: Frances Cihak; Richard (who served as Cook County Commissioner), James, William, Robert, and John. His family was Lutheran. 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, and an honorary doctorate of engineering.
From 1984 through 1990, Siebel was an executive at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of management positions. Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992. Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems, which was acquired by Oracle in January 2006. Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company.
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.
In 2015, Siebel founded the Siebel Energy Institute to research the data management of energy infrastructure monitoring data. He is currently Chairman and CEO of C3 IoT.
Honors and awards
In 2013, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected Tom Siebel as a member along with some of the world¹s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. 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. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
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. He is a Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and is the Chairman of the Board for the American Agora Foundation. He was a member of the Trustees of Princeton University from 2008 to 2011. He is the Founder and Chairman of the [Montana Meth Project]] and the Siebel Scholars Foundation, 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. In 2007 and 2008, he was named one of The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists by BusinessWeek.
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.
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. 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
- The Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, Harvard Business School, 2003
- Among IT 100 List of Top-Performing Companies in High Tech - BusinessWeek, 2001
- The World’s Most Influential Software Company – BusinessWeek, 2000
- The Most Influential Company in IT, Intelligent Enterprise, 2000
- Fasting Growing Technology Company, Deloitte & Touche, 1999
Call Center Magazine inducted Siebel to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service. 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. He has also been named:
- Top 10 CEOs - Investor’s Business Daily, 2000
- University of Illinois Presidential Award and Medallion, 2001
- One of Top 25 Managers in Global Business – BusinessWeek, 1999 to 2001
- One of the Top 25 Executives - Computer Reseller News, 2001 and 2002 (Readers Choice in 2002)
- CEO of the Year – Industry Week, 2002
- David Packard Award – Business Executives for National Security, 2002
- Thomas M. Siebel, Master Entrepreneur of the Year – Ernst & Young, 2003
- Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Industry Award - University of Montana, 2006
- The 50 Most Generous Philanthropists – BusinessWeek, 2007, 2008
- Lincoln Academy Laureate – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois (Illinois' Highest Honor) 2008
- Engineering at Illinois Hall of Fame - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
- Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution, 2010
- Ranked #5 of the World's Top 25 Philanthropists – Barron's, 2009
- Ranked #3 of the World's Top 25 Philanthropists – Barron's, 2010
- Alumni Achievement Awards - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
- One of the World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators - FORTUNE magazine, 2014
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. The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Siebel Energy Institute, the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana, and the Montana Meth Project. 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. He was also recognized for his work on the program with the 2006 Director’s Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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. 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. Siebel pledged an additional $100 million gift to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.
In 2005, Siebel founded the Montana Meth Project. Siebel continues to develop philanthropic initiatives.
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.
In September 2008, Siebel hosted a campaign stop for Sarah Palin at his home.
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.
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.
A part-time Montana resident, Siebel owns and operates the Dearborn Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, a working cattle ranch. Siebel's time in Montana has lasted 35 years.
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. Siebel suffered several injuries: his left leg was impaled, his right was crushed, and his ribs were broken. They radioed for help, but it was three hours before he received any medical treatment. 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. 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.
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. After enduring 19 reconstructive surgeries total over two and a half years, Siebel has now made a full recovery. In 2013, National Geographic included Siebel’s account in its TV series Dead or Alive:
- 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