Siebel plans major restructure

9 May 2005

Software firm Siebel Systems, which currently employs around 350 people in Ireland following its US$130m acquisition of Irish software firm Eontec last year, is planning a restructure aimed at cutting costs by around US$25m per quarter.

At an investor briefing in New York last week, Siebel CEO George Shaheen said that as part of an endeavour aimed at returning Siebel to its roots of growth and profitability, the company would be undergoing a makeover that will see it emerge as a leaner and better-organised entity better placed to respond to market opportunities.

The makeover includes plans to shave costs, restructure Siebel’s sales organisation, make some strategic acquisitions and aggressively exploit new market opportunities.

The customer relationship management software company is understood to be targeting cost savings of around US$25m per quarter this year in such areas as sales and research and development in order to achieve margins of 15pc by the end of this year.

The restructure is taking place in response to shareholder concern over investors’ trepidation about declining sales and profits.

It is unclear at this point whether any of the company’s Irish workforce will be affected by the restructure.

The company employs more than 200 people in Galway as well as a further 150 former employees of Irish banking software firm Eontec in Dublin’s East Point Business Park.

In 2002, at the height of the technology downturn, Siebel had to lay off 40 workers at the Galway operation.

Last year, Siebel acquired Irish banking software player Eontec for US$130m in an all-cash deal that added millions to the coffers of founder Jim Callan as well as investor Denis O’Brien. All of Eontec’s 150 employees automatically became members of Siebel’s Retail Finance Division.

By John Kennedy