Siebel talks tough

Siebel Systems' CEO told Wall Street analysts on Thursday that the he intends to reverse a trend of declining revenue at Siebel by reorganizing the company and "returning to our roots" in the customer relationship management market.

"We're going to be more aggressive and more nimble," said George Shaheen, a Siebel director the company installed as CEO last month after giving his short-lived predecessor, Mike Lawrie, the boot.

Analysts and investors have been critical of Siebel's ability to regain its footing in the face of intense competition from SAP, Oracle and Salesforce.com. Lawrie's departure and a poor earnings report have rekindled rumors that the company is for sale. Siebel was said to be in buyout talks recently with Oracle, a rumor neither company will confirm.

However, comments from Siebel executives on Thursday indicate the they're determined to go it alone.

On the cost-cutting front, Siebel said it's examining its sales, marketing and development groups for opportunties to "re-size" operations. Executives did not say whether layoffs, which are also rumored, are in the works.

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    Alorie Gilbert
    writes about software, spy chips and the high-tech workplace.
     

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