Spring 2010

IT to ET: The Dynamics of Innovation and Opportunity

Thomas Siebel

Founder, Siebel Systems

Mr. Siebel will discuss global demographic, technology, and geopolitical dynamics in an attempt to infer trends in the nature of prospective economic and technological opportunity.

About Mr. Siebel

Thomas SiebelThomas Siebel is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in commercial real estate, agribusiness, global investment management, and philanthropy. Mr. Siebel is the founder and chairman of C3, an energy and emissions management company.

Mr. Siebel was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Siebel Systems, one of the world's leading software companies, which merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems rapidly became a global leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion.

Before founding Siebel Systems, Mr. Siebel served as chief executive officer of Gain Technology, a multimedia software company that merged with Sybase in December 1992. From 1984 through 1990, he was an executive at Oracle Corp., where he held a number of senior management positions. Mr. Siebel serves on the board of advisors for 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 University of Illinois Foundation and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Mr. Siebel is the founder and chairman of the Meth Project Foundation and the Siebel Scholars Foundation, and chairman of the Siebel Foundation.

He is a frequent industry spokesman and the author of three books: Taking Care of eBusiness and Cyber Rules, published by Doubleday, and Virtual Selling, published by The Free Press.

In 2002, the Business Executives for National Security presented Mr. Siebel with the David Packard Award for his achievements as a technology entrepreneur and his contributions to national security. In 2000 and 2001, he was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the Top 25 Managers in the World.

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. Call Center Magazine inducted him to its Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for contributions to the business and technology of customer service.

Mr. Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History, an M.B.A., and a Master of Science in Computer Science.

The Siebel Foundation, founded in 1996, funds projects to support the homeless and underprivileged, educational and research programs, methamphetamine abuse prevention, and alternative energy solutions. The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana, and the Meth Project Foundation. The Siebel Scholars Foundation endows scholarship funds at 11 leading universities for graduate students in computer science, business, and bioengineering who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and leadership. The Meth Project, a strategic philanthropic project to reduce methamphetamine abuse, received a White House Commendation in 2006 as the Most Influential Drug Program.

Honors and Awards

  • #5 of the World's Top 25 Philanthropists – Barron's, 2009
  • Top 50 Philanthropists - Business Week 2007, 2008
  • Lincoln Academy Laureate - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, 2008
  • Ph.D. (Hon) Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006
  • White House Commendation, Most Influential Drug Program - Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2006
  • Leadership Award - Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2006
  • Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Industry Award - University of Montana, 2006
  • One of the 50 Best Companies to Work for in Silicon Valley - San Jose Magazine, 2004
  • Thomas M. Siebel, Master Entrepreneur of the Year - Ernst & Young, 2003
  • Entrepreneurial Company of the Year - Harvard Business School, 2003
  • Hall of Fame - CRM Magazine, 2003
  • David Packard Award - Business Executives for National Security, 2002
  • CEO of the Year - IndustryWeek, 2002
  • Top 25 Executives, Readers’ Choice - Computer Reseller News, 2002
  • Top 25 Managers in Global Business - BusinessWeek, 1999 to 2002
  • Top 25 Executives - Computer Reseller News, 2001
  • University of Illinois Presidential Award and Medallion, 2001
  • IT 100 List of Top-Performing Companies in High Tech - BusinessWeek, 2001
  • Second Fastest Growing Company in America - Fortune, 2000
  • Top 10 CEOs of 2000 - Investor’s Business Daily, 2000
  • Hall of Fame: in Recognition of Contributions to the Business and Technology of Customer Service - Call Center Magazine, 2000
  • The World's Most Influential Software Company - BusinessWeek, 2000
  • Third Fastest Growing Company in America - Fortune, 2000
  • The Most Influential Company in IT - Intelligent Enterprise, 2000
  • Fastest Growing Technology Company - Deloitte & Touche, 1999
  • Fastest Growing Company in America - Fortune, 1999


  • Virtual Selling, Free Press, 1996
  • Cyber Rules, Doubleday, 1999
  • Taking Care of eBusiness, Doubleday, 2001