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Larry" Ellison is an American business
magnate, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, a
major enterprise software company.
Larry Ellison was born in New York City . After Larry Ellison contracted
pneumonia at the age of nine months, his mother determined that she was
unable to care for him adequately, and arranged for him to be adopted by her
aunt and uncle in Chicago.Lillian Spellman Ellison and Louis Ellison adopted
him when he was nine months old.
Ellison graduated from Eugene Field Elementary School on Chicago's north
side in January, 1958
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.
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.
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, 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.
In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because it
was losing money. 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.
Although 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.
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
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.
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".
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.
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.
Ellison has been married and divorced four times.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
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 and Melanie Craft-Ellison divorced in September 2010.
Ellison recently ended his ownership of the sixth largest yacht in the
world, named Rising Sun. He sold his remaining shares in the yacht to music
and film mogul David Geffen. Rising Sun is 453 ft. (138 m) long, and
reportedly cost over US$200 million to build.
Ellison is a financier of the BMW Oracle Racing team, which won the 2010
Ellison has followed professional tennis all his life, and took up the game
in 2004. In 2010, he purchased a 50% share in one of the top four
tournaments in the United States, the BNP Paribas Open. This purchase saved
the tournament from being sold and moved outside of the U.S.
Ellison is a licensed pilot and has owned several aircraft. Ellison owns
many exotic cars, including an Audi R8 and a McLaren F1.
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.
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
In August 2010 it was reported that Ellison is one of the 40 billionaires
who has signed "The Giving Pledge"
( Courtesy: Wikkipedia)