Larry Joseph Ellison – God of Oracle

Born    : August 17, 1944 in Manhattan, New York, U.S.

Occupation      : Co-founder and CEO, Oracle Corporation

Salary              : $500.0 million USD (2008)

Net Worth       : Below $22.5 billion USD (2009)

Spouse(s)         : Adda Quinn (m. 1967–1974), Nancy Wheeler Jenkins (m. 1977–1978), Barbara Boothe (m. 1983–1986), Melanie Craft (m. 2003–present)


Oracle Corporation, one of the major companies developing database management systems (DBMS), tools for database development and enterprise resource planning software from 1977 and has offices in more than 145 countries around the world. As of 2005, it employs more than 50,000 persons worldwide. An oracle database, strictly speaking, consists of a collection of data managed by an Oracle database management system. The distinction between the managed data (the database) and the software which manages the data relies, in Oracle’s marketing literature, on the capitalization of the world database. Oracle Corporation produces and markets the DBMS, which many database applications use extensively on many popular computing platforms.

Larry Ellison was born in Bronx, New York. At nine months, he contracted pneumonia, and his unmarried 19 year-old mother gave him to her great aunt and uncle to raise the child. He was raised in a two-bed room apartment, and until he was twelve years old he did not know that he was adopted. As a boy, Larry Ellison showed an independent, rebellious attitude and often clashed with his adoptive father. He showed a strong aptitude for math and science, and was named student of the year at the University of Illinois. But during the final exams in his second year, Ellison’s adoptive mother died, and he dropped out of school. However, he enrolled at the University of Chicago the following year, dropped out again after the first semester. His father was now convinced that Ellison would never make anything of himself. But Ellison was very fond of and had learned the basics of computer programming in Chicago and took his skill with him to California, having just enough money for fast food.

larry-ellisonFor the next eight years, he bounced from job to job. When he was working as a programmer for a company called Ampex, he built a large database for the CIA with a code name, Oracle. (Generally, Oracle means a person considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic vision). In 1977, Ellison and his former supervisor from Ampex, Robert Miner, founded Software Development Labs, and created a database program compatible with both mainframe and desktop computer systems. Their first customers were Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the CIA. In 1980, Oracle had only eight employees, and revenues were less than $1 million, but the following year, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation is the largest information technology company with a continuous success dating back to 1911) itself adopted Oracle’s SQL (Structured Query Language) for its mainframe systems and for the next seven years, Oracle’s sales doubled every year. The million dollar company was becoming a billion dollar company.

Oracle went public in 1986, raising $31.5 million with its initial public offering, but the firm’s zealous young staff for the rapidly expanding firm habitually overstated revenues, and in 1990 the company posted its first losses. Oracle’s market capitalization fell by 80 percent and the company appeared to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Ellison bit the bullet and replaced much of the original senior staff with more experienced managers. For the first time, he delegated the management side of the business to professionals, and channeled his own energies into product development. The newest version of the database program was a solid success and in only two years the company’s stock had regained much of its previous value.

Oracle’s fortunes continued to rise throughout the 1990s. America’s banks, airlines, automobile companies and retail giants all depend on Oracle’s database programs. Oracle has benefited hugely from the growth of electronic commerce; its net profits increased by 76 percent in a single quarter of the year 2000. As the stocks of other high tech companies fluctuated wildly, Oracle held its value, and its largest shareholder, Ellison, had come very close to a long-cherished goal: surpassing Microsoft’s Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world.

Larry Ellison is far from the run-of-the-mill businessman. Oracle today is the world’s leading supplier of software for information management and the world’s second largest independent software company, boasting revenues of more than $9.7 billion. Ellison is also known as the Other Software Billionaire.

Larry Ellison

Ellison is a living proof that business is not something learned through academic books, but rather an innate gift. A college dropout, Ellison is renowned for his impeccable business sense, drive and ambition. It is no surprise that in order to achieve Ellison’s success, one must take huge risks and learn from mistakes made along the way. Ellison also demanded at least 100 percent growth in sales of his company’s software, a near impossible feat for a company that already boasts $100 to $500 million in sales. Although Ellison’s high demands led to a highly stressful work environment, it also led to high productivity and Oracle’s present success.

Oracle underwent some changes before becoming the multibillion-dollar corporation it is today. When first founded by Ellison, it was known as Software Development Laboratories and then reincarnated into Relational Technologies until it finally took on the name it is known as today; Oracle, Larry Ellison presently sits on the board of Apple Computer (a company he once dreamed of taking over) and the many honors and awards he received include Entrepreneur of the Year from the Harvard School of Business.

Being a billionaire, Ellison is also believed to be quite a multi-faceted character: playboy, world champion sailboat racer, sports nut, jet pilot, ruthless businessman, marketing genius, and avant-garde thinker. We weren’t kidding when we said he is no ordinary businessman.

Larry Joseph Ellison – God of Oracle
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