Judging by Siebel System's corporate head quarters, the company had little to fear from Oracle or any of its other competitors. But as it now turned out, keeping up that image with shiny marble caused a level of overspending that must have contributed to its downfall.
"Siebel had an extremely high cost basis," noted Oracle co-president Safra Catz in a conference call with investors today, where the company also announced 2,000 lay-offs. The big culprit were the Siebel facilities. Siebel was only half the size of Peoplesoft, but spend about three times as much on its facilities, Catz said.
Siebel systems was headquartered in San Mateo, in the hearth of Silicon Valley, two high-way exists north of Oracle's Redwood Shores headquarters. Peoplesoft had its headquarters in Pleasanton further to the east, in an eara where real estate rates are much lower than in the Valley.
Siebel also owned corporate jet planes, Catz said. Oracle doesn't. But then, Oracle chief Larry Ellison owns his own Gulfstream V airplane, a luxury that Siebel's chief executives apparently couldn't afford.
Very shiny, but too expensive
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