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Siebel's former CEO gets $4.5 million in severance

Payment to Michael Lawrie, ousted after less than a year on the job, is equal to base salary and target bonuses for two years.

Mike Ricciuti Staff writer, CNET News
Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.
Mike Ricciuti
Former Siebel Systems chief executive Michael Lawrie, ousted last week after less than a year on the job, received a $4.5 million severance payment, according to a regulatory filing issued Wednesday.

The software company said the payment to Lawrie, made on Friday, is equal to base salary and target bonuses for two years. Lawrie was replaced by George Shaheen, a long-time board member, on April 13.

The company also said that it agreed to accelerate the vesting of 800,000 options and 200,000 restricted options when Lawrie left the company. Lawrie will have a year to exercise the options, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Siebel and Lawrie, who had been CEO since May 2004, "agreed mutually that he would resign the position," the company said last week. Lawrie, who spent 26 years at IBM, replaced Tom Siebel, who founded the business software company in the 1990s.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel is facing increasing heat from its investors as the company's financial outlook has deteriorated while it sits on a sizable stash of cash.

Earlier this month, Siebel announced that its first-quarter results would fall short of Wall Street expectations, as customers delayed purchases.