Lawrence Joseph "Larry" Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American business magnate, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, a major enterprise software company. As of 2010 he is the sixth richest person in the world, with a personal wealth of $28 billion.
Born Lawrence Joseph Ellison
August 17, 1944 (1944-08-17) (age 66)
Manhattan, New York, USA
Occupation Co-founder &
CEO of Oracle Corporation
Salary $70.1 M (2009)
Net worth ▲$27 bn (2010)
Spouse Adda Quinn (1967–1974) «start: (1967)–end+1: (1975)»"Marriage: Adda Quinn to Larry Ellison" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison)
Nancy Wheeler Jenkins (1977–1978) «start: (1977)–end+1: (1979)»"Marriage: Nancy Wheeler Jenkins to Larry Ellison" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison)
Barbara Boothe (1983–1986) «start: (1983)–end+1: (1987)»"Marriage: Barbara Boothe to Larry Ellison" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison)
Melanie Craft (2003–present)
Larry Ellison was born in New York City to Florence Spellman, a 19-year-old unwed Jewish mother. At his mother's request, he was given to his mother's aunt and uncle in Chicago to raise. Lillian Spellman Ellison and Louis Ellison adopted him when he was nine months old. Ellison did not learn the name of his mother or meet her until he was 48; the identity of his father is unknown.
Ellison graduated from Eugene Field Elementary School on Chicago's north side in January, 1958 and attended Sullivan High School at least through the fall of 1959 before moving to South Shore.
Ellison grew up in a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago's South Shore middle-class Jewish neighborhood. Ellison remembers his adoptive mother as warm and loving, in contrast to his austere, unsupportive, and often distant adoptive father, a Russian Jew from the Crimea who adopted the name Ellison to honor his point of entry into the USA, Ellis Island. Louis, his father, was a modest government employee who had made a small fortune in Chicago real estate, only to lose it during the Great Depression.
Ellison was a bright but inattentive student. He left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the end of his second year, after not taking his final exams because his adoptive mother had just died. After spending a summer in Northern California, where he lived with his friend Chuck Weiss, he attended the University of Chicago for one term, where he first encountered computer designing. In 1964, at 20 years of age, he moved to northern California permanently.
Larry Ellison lecturing at the Oracle OpenWorld, San Francisco 2010During the 1970s, Ellison worked for Ampex Corporation. One of his projects was a database for the
CIA, which he named "Oracle".
Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database systems called "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks". He founded Oracle in 1977, putting up a mere $1400 of his own money, under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL). In 1979, the company was renamed Relational Software Inc., later renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database. He had heard about the
IBM System R database, also based on Codd's theories, and wanted Oracle to be compatible with it, but IBM made this impossible by refusing to share System R's code. The initial release of Oracle was Oracle 2; there was no Oracle 1. The release number was intended to imply that all of the bugs had been worked out of an earlier version.
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In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of a mismatch between cash and revenues. This crisis, which almost resulted in Oracle's bankruptcy, came about because of Oracle's "up-front" marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses. This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also to settle out of court class action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison would later say that Oracle had made "an incredible business mistake."
IBM dominated the mainframe relational database market with its DB2 and SQL/DS database products, it delayed entering the market for a relational database on UNIX and Windows operating systems. This left the door open for Sybase, Oracle, and Informix (and eventually Microsoft) to dominate mid-range systems and microcomputers.
Around this time, Oracle fell behind Sybase. In 1990–1993, Sybase was the fastest growing database company and the database industry's darling vendor, but soon fell victim to its merger mania. Sybase's 1993 merger with Powersoft resulted in a loss of focus on its core database technology. In 1993, Sybase sold the rights to its database software running under the Windows operating system to Microsoft Corporation, which now markets it under the name "SQL Server."
In 1994, Informix Software overtook Sybase and became Oracle's most important rival. The intense war between Informix
CEO Phil White and Ellison was front page Silicon Valley news for three years. In April, 1997, Informix announced a major revenue shortfall and earnings restatements; Phil White eventually landed in jail, and Informix was absorbed by IBM in 2000. Also in 1997, Ellison was made a director of Apple Computer after Steve Jobs came back to the company. Ellison resigned in 2002, saying that he did not have the time to attend necessary formal board meetings.
Once Informix and Sybase were defeated, Oracle enjoyed years of industry dominance until the rise of Microsoft SQL Server in the late 90s and
IBM's acquisition of Informix Software in 2001 to complement their DB2 database. Today Oracle's main competition for new database licenses on UNIX, Linux, and Windows operating systems is with IBM's DB2, the open source database MySQL, and with Microsoft SQL Server (which only runs on Windows). IBM's DB2 still dominates the mainframe database market.
In April 2009, Oracle announced its intent to buy Sun Microsystems after a tug of war with
IBM and Hewlett-Packard. The European Union approved the acquisition by Oracle of Sun Microsystems on January 21, 2010 and agreed that "Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products".
On August 9, 2010, Ellison denounced Hewlett-Packard's board for firing
CEO Mark Hurd, writing: "The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago." Ellison and Hurd are close personal friends – Hurd often plays tennis at Ellison's house. Then on September 6, Oracle hired Mark Hurd and made him Co-President alongside Safra A. Catz. Ellison retained the CEO position.
Ellison owns stakes in Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Quark Biotechnology Inc. and SuperGen.
In 2005, Oracle paid Ellison a $975,000 salary, a $6,500,000 bonus, and other compensation of $955,100. In 2007, Ellison earned a total compensation of $61,180,524, which included a base salary of $1,000,000, a cash bonus of $8,369,000, and options granted of $50,087,100. In 2008, he earned a total compensation of $84,598,700, which included a base salary of $1,000,000, a cash bonus of $10,779,000, no stocks granted, and options granted of $71,372,700. In the year ending May 31, 2009 he made $56.8 million.
For a short period in 2000, Ellison was the richest man in the world.
In 2006, Forbes ranked Ellison as the richest Californian.
On July 2, 2009, for the fourth year in a row, Oracle's Board awarded Ellison another 7 million stock options.
On August 22, 2009, it was reported that Ellison would be paid only $1 for his base salary for the fiscal year of 2010, down from the $1,000,000 he was paid in fiscal 2009.
As of March 10, 2010, Ellison was listed on the Forbes list of billionaires as the sixth richest person in the world. He is the third richest American, with an estimated net worth of US $28 billion.
On July 27, 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ellison was the best-paid executive in the last decade, collecting a total compensation of US $1.84 billion.
 Personal life
Ellison has been married four times. His first three marriages ended in a divorce. He was married to Adda Quinn from 1967 to 1974. He was married to Nancy Wheeler Jenkins between 1977 and 1978. From 1983 to 1986, he was married to Barbara Boothe: two children were born of this marriage, a son and daughter named David and Megan.
On 18 December 2003, Ellison married Melanie Craft, a romance novelist, at his Woodside estate. His friend Steve Jobs (
CEO of Apple, Inc) was the official wedding photographer, and Representative Tom Lantos Officiated.
Ellison co-owns with music and film mogul David Geffen the sixth largest yacht in the world, named Rising Sun, which reportedly cost over US$200 million to build. Rising Sun is 453 ft. (138 m) long.
Ellison is a financier of BMW Oracle Racing.
 2007 America's Cup
BMW Oracle Racing was the Challenger of Record on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco for the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia, Spain until eliminated from the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series in the semi-finals.
 2010 America's Cup
On 14 February 2010, Ellison's yacht USA 17 won the second race (in the best of three "deed of gift" series) of the 33rd America's Cup, after winning the first race two days earlier. Securing a historic victory, Ellison and his BMW Oracle team became the first challengers to win a "deed of gift" match. The Cup returned to American shores for the first time since 1995. Ellison was a crew member for the second race.
Previously, Ellison had filed several legal challenges, through the Golden Gate Yacht Club, against the way that Ernesto Bertarelli (also one of the world's richest men) has proposed to organize the 33rd America's Cup following the 2007 victory of Bertarelli's team Alinghi. The races were finally held[clarification needed] in February 2010 in Valencia, Spain.
 Private jet
Ellison is a licensed pilot and has owned several unusual aircraft, including fighter jets. Ellison was cited by the City of San Jose, California, for violating its limits on late-night takeoffs and landings from San Jose Mineta International Airport by planes weighing more than 75 000 pounds (34 019 kg). In January 2000, Ellison sued over the interpretation of the airport rule, contending that his "plane is certified by the manufacturer to fly at two weights: 75,000 pounds, and at 90,000 pounds, for heavier loads or long flights requiring more fuel. But the pilot only lands the plane in San Jose when it weighs 75,000 pounds or less, and has the logs to prove it..." U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled over the matter in June 2001, calling for a waiver for Ellison's jet, but did not invalidate the curfew.
Ellison owns many exotic cars, including an Audi R8 and a McLaren F1. His favorite is the Acura NSX, which he was known to give as gifts each year during its production.
Ellison styled his estimated $70 million Woodside, California, estate after feudal Japanese architecture, complete with a man-made 2.3-acre (9,300 m2) lake and an extensive seismic retrofit (37°24′44.34″N 122°14′51.40″W / 37.4123167°N 122.247611°W / 37.4123167; -122.247611). In 2004 and 2005, Ellison purchased more than 12 properties in Malibu, California, worth more than $180 million. The $65 million Ellison spent on five contiguous lots on Malibu's Carbon Beach was the most costly residential transaction in United States history until Ron Perelman sold his Palm Beach, Florida compound for $70 million later that same year. His entertainment system cost $1 million, and includes a rock concert-sized video projector at one end of a drained swimming pool, using the gaping hole as a giant subwoofer.
In early 2010 Ellison purchased the Astor's Beechwood Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island for $10.5 million. The property was the former summer home of the prominent Astor family.
 Charitable donations
In order to settle an insider trading lawsuit arising from Ellison's selling nearly $1 billion of Oracle stock, he was allowed to donate $100 million to his own charitable foundation without admitting wrongdoing. A California judge refused to allow Oracle to pay Ellison's legal fees of $24 million. Ellison's lawyer had argued that were Ellison to pay those fees, it could be construed as an admission of guilt. Ellison's charitable donations to Stanford University were an issue in that case on the independence of two Stanford professors who evaluated the merits of the case for Oracle.
In response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, Ellison made a controversial offer to donate to the Federal government software that would enable it to build and run a national identification database and issue ID cards.
In 2002, the leadership of the anti-aging research Ellison Medical Foundation stated that it believed Ellison would increase its annual budget from $35 million to $100 million.
The 2004 Forbes list of the charitable donations made by the wealthiest 400 Americans stated that Ellison had donated $151,092,103 in the preceding year, about 1% of his estimated personal wealth.
In June 2006, Ellison announced that he would not honor his earlier pledge of $115 million to Harvard University, claiming it was due to the departure of former President Lawrence Summers.
In August 2010 it was reported that Ellison is one of the 40 billionaires who has signed "The Giving Pledge". Ellison wrote: "Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95 percent of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly—because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter."