Who is Larry Ellison?
Larry Ellison is the founder of software company Oracle Corporation (ORCL) which he formed in 1977. He served as the company’s chief executive officer until 2014 and still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer. His company successfully went public in 1986 but suffered from quality-control problems in 1988. These issues led to cash flow problems, operating losses, a declining share price and near bankruptcy a couple of years later. New top management worked with Ellison to turn these problems around by 1994. As a leader in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, Oracle is one of the most successful technology companies in the world. At the end of 2018, Oracle’s market value is more than $170 billion. As the company’s largest shareholder, Ellison has a net worth of $55 billion, ranking him 5th on Forbes list of billionaires for 2018. In March of 2018, Ellison founded Sensei, a wellness startup focused on hydroponic farming and vacation retreats. On December 28th, 2018, he was named to the board of Tesla Inc.
From Dropout to Billionaire
Larry Ellison dropped out of two consecutive universities and never graduated. Instead, he found that he was skilled in software programming. He worked as a computer programmer for about 10 years before founding Oracle in 1977, although the company did not take that name until 1983. It was initially called Software Development Laboratories. Harvard Business School named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 1990.
Not much is known about how Ellison invests his billions, but he is known for his lavish spending. He made headlines when he purchased a $194 million yacht and spent $80 million to capture America’s Cup. In 2016, he donated $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment research centre. He has made massive real estate investments including a complete island in Hawaii and multiple parcels in Malibu, California.