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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Larry Ellison, the ‘bad boy’ of tech world

IFM_Larry Ellison
As of February 2023, Larry Ellison was listed by Bloomberg Billionaires Index as the sixth-wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated fortune of USD 102.6 Billion Dollars

Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology that provides cloud-based enterprise solutions. The Company provides database and middleware software, application software, cloud infrastructure software and hardware systems. In addition, integrated cloud solutions are offered, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Oracle also provides licenses for new software on-site, updates licenses and offers related support solutions. The company markets solutions through independent software and hardware vendors, system integrators and resellers. On-premise offerings include hardware, servers, storage, networking, and industry-specific products and related support and services. Oracle is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA.

The company, initially called Software Development Laboratories, was founded in 1977. Known for innovation and aggressive marketing, the company, renamed Oracle in 1982 after its flagship product, grew rapidly in the 1980s and went public in 1986. In 1987, Oracle became the largest database management company in the world.

Although Oracle’s eponymous database is growing in popularity, much of the company’s growth has come from aggressively acquiring software companies with products for a range of business and technology applications. Throughout its history, Oracle has purchased numerous companies, including high-profile, multi-billion dollar purchases of PeopleSoft (2005), Siebel (2006), BEA (2008), Sun Microsystems (2010), and NetSuite (2016).

The brain behind this successful venture is 78-year-old Lawrence Joseph Ellison, commonly known as Larry Ellison. He is an American business magnate, investor and Co-founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Oracle Corporation.

    Who is Larry Ellison?

  • Larry Ellison was born in New York City and was raised in a Reform Jewish home by his adoptive parents
  • In 1965, he enrolled himself at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as a premed student, but withdrew without taking final exams, as his adoptive mother died
  • Later, in 1966, Larry Ellison enrolled himself to study physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago, where he first encountered computer design
  • After the course, he moved to Berkeley, California and began his career as a computer programmer for different companies
  • Larry Ellison co-founded Oracle Corporation in 1977 with Bob Miner and Ed Oates under the name Software Development Laboratories, and served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company
  • In 1994, he received Information Technology Leadership Award for Global Integration from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • In 2014, Larry Ellison gave up the Oracle CEO role after 37 years
  • In 2020, he moved permanently to the Hawaiian island Lanai, which he bought nearly all of in 2012 for USD 300 million dollars
  • Larry Ellison was Tesla’s board member from December 2018 to August 2022
  • He still owns about 15 million shares in the Elon Musk-led electric carmaker
  • As of February 2023, he was listed by Bloomberg Billionaires Index as the sixth-wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated fortune of USD 102.6 Billion Dollars
  • The Wall Street Journal reported Larry Ellison as the best-paid executive in the last decade

The Larger-Than-Life CEO

By the end of 2000, Larry Ellison was on the right track, both professionally and personally. He was the second richest person in the world and his business was thriving like never before.

At that time, Fortune magazine ran a story about Larry Ellison, in which they described him as insecure, arrogant, brilliant, sleazy, funny, cool, and ruthless. This paradoxical combination of ideas perfectly describes Larry Ellison’s personality.

The story went on to explain how these conflicting qualities defined different areas of Larry Ellison’s work and personal life. Most importantly, Larry Ellison loved his life as a flamboyant CEO.

In an interview with The Times Magazine, Larry Ellison shared ideas that have defined his work life and perspective. For his personal goals as an entrepreneur he said, “When I started Oracle, what I wanted to do was to create an environment where I would enjoy working. That was my primary goal. Sure, I wanted to make a living. I certainly never expected to become rich, certainly not this rich.”

Money is the most important factor for would-be entrepreneurs, but truly successful people need to have deeper motivations. Some CEOs, like Elon Musk, strive to create the future but don’t always find satisfaction in those endeavours.

Larry Ellison’s primary goal was to create a work environment that he enjoys.

This not only led to great professional success, but also brought peace from the work he was doing. His strategy for living well and accomplishing goals can be applied in our own personal lives.

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