With a net worth of 41 billion dollars Larry Ellison is America’s third richest citizen. He has acquired his wealth from his software company ‘Oracle Corporation’, in which he owns a 22.5% stake.
Born on 17th August 1944 in New York City, Ellison was the child of unwed parents who gave him up to close relatives for adoption. He thus spent his childhood in Chicago where he went to Sullivan High School and later enrolled in University of Illinois for a brief period. He also went to the University of Chicago for one term. Ellison shifted to Northern California at the age of 20. After working at Amdahl Corporation during the 1970s and then at Ampex Corporation, Ellison aspired for more. Getting his inspiration from ‘A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks’; a paper by Edgar F. Codd, Ellison established ‘Software Development Laboratories’ in 1977 that was renamed ‘Relational Software’ in 1979. This name was changed yet again to ‘Oracle’ after his success in the product he had developed for the CIA named Oracle database.
Oracle went through a financial crisis with IBM controlling the market. The company had to face many rivals including Sybase and Informix. For many years the war between Larry Ellison and Phil White (the CEO of Informix) continued. Things changed for Ellison after Informix went into bankruptcy in 1997. He was made a director of Apple Computers the same year. In 2002, he gave his resignation. In 2010 Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. Ellison also has shares in SalesForce.com, Quark Biotechnology Inc., Astex Pharmaceuticals and NetSuite. He is the CEO of Oracle since it was formed, he also owns a 50 percent share in the BNP Paribas Open, a tennis tournament. Till 2010 he possessed the world’s 8th largest yacht that he sold to David Geffen for 200 million dollars. Ellison is also a generous donor for various causes such as medical research and education.
Larry Ellison has the most exotic lifestyle. He owns several mansions, planes, yachts and even islands. He announced in June 2012 that he intended to buy 98 percent of the Hawaiian Island of Lana’i that is currently in the ownership of Castle and Cookie (David Murdock’s company). It will cost him around 500 million to 600 million dollars. Since 2005 Ellison received a salary of 975,000 dollars along with 6,500,000 dollars bonus money and other benefits of 955,100 dollars. In 2007 these figures increased to a base salary of 100,000, a bonus of 8,369,000 and other compensation of 50,087,100 dollars. By 2009 he earned a total of 56.8 million dollars. In the year 2000 he also became the world’s richest person for some time. According to Forbes, Ellison is the richest Californian. In 2010 he was included in Forbes list of billionaires as the 6th richest person of the world and in 2012 he is the world’s 8th wealthiest person. He signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ in 2010 becoming one of the 40 billionaires who have signed it.