Sweet Revenge: Oracle Takes Over Siebel
There have been a lot of great posts written about Oracle’s purchase of Siebel today, so I won’t belabor the point, however I’d like to offer up that in addition to this acquisition being consistent with Oracle’s somewhat dubious consolidation strategy, it also is sweet revenge for Larry Ellison.
You see when Tom Siebel left Oracle to start Siebel there was, according to many people I’ve talk to, no love lost between Larry and Tom. Indeed, today’s news brought back memories to me of a dinner at the Circus Club in the summer of 2001 where Tom Siebel was receiving the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Stanford’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. At the time Siebel’s stock was still around $50/share and Tom Siebel was still running the ship. In his speech, Siebel talked a lot about how he ran the company in a much different manner than “the average Silicon Valley company”. It quickly became clear that he was really saying that he ran the company much more ethically and professionally than Larry Ellison ran Oracle. He capped off his comparison with a clear and very personal swipe at Ellison when he said something to the effect of “I did not want to found a company where the CEO walks off the corporate jet with the PR floozy of the week on his arm.” The room was packed with VCs and Silicon Valley CEOs and there was a lot of snickering when Siebel made this statement because everyone knew exactly who he was talking about.
I don’t know if Ellison ever heard about this speech, but if he did it probably only strengthened his resolve to get the last laugh. Fast forward 4 years and it looks like (a now married) Ellison will indeed be getting the last laugh. My guess is that all traces of “Siebel” will be erased within 24 hours after the acquisition closes. A lot of posts are talking about the premium that Oracle paid to take out Siebel however they neglect to figure in that the value of sweet revenge is priceless.
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The thoughts and opinions on this blog are mine and mine alone and not affiliated in any way with Inductive Capital LP, San Andreas Capital LLC, or any other company I am involved with. Nothing written in this blog should be considered investment, tax, legal,financial or any other kind of advice. These writings, misinformed as they may be, are just my personal opinions.