It may not seem appropriate to raise a glass to Tom Siebel, but I'll do it anyway. He lived the entrepreneurial dream by ditching his egomaniacal boss and building a multibillion-dollar company that proved to be a thorn in his former employer's side. It's gravy when you realize that his company was Siebel Systems
Yesterday, Siebel stepped down as CEO of the enterprise software company that bears his name. Mike Lawrie will bring his IBM
Four years ago, shares of Siebel peaked a full 10 times higher than where they are today. While the company is taking small steps forward, these aren't exactly the best of times. With cheaper, competitive products on the market and the reins tight on corporate spending for customer relationship management software, Siebel isn't stepping down while his company is on top.
Just as clearly, hiring Lawrie is an attempt to inject some fresh outside thinking into Siebel, now that the colorful days of Ellison sending ice cream trucks to Siebel's parking lot to recruit new hires are gone. The wrappers read "Summer is near. Oracle is here. To brighten your day and your career."
Summer is still around the corner, but these emperors of ice cream have been melting.
For investors, there is no need to panic over the demotion of their company's founder. People and companies move on. You won't find the Hewletts or the Packards running Hewlett-Packard
In the end, perhaps the rumble can be seen as a welcome sign that Siebel is looking to regain its former magic. So, once again, here's to Tom Siebel. His namesake company will prove his legacy.
Will new blood, even if it's big and blue, help Siebel? How pesky a bargain-priced rival has Salesforce.com been? Is the industry still untapped or mostly hype? All this and more -- in the Siebel Systems discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz already used up the "Siebel Shepherds" headline. Other than that, he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.