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The Oracle of Larry-Land

September 19, 2014

Larry OracleDepending on which news spin you care to believe, Oracle founder Larry Ellison either stepped down or didn’t step down as CEO of the company yesterday. Many people seem to despise the man who, in 1977 started the company that would eventually become Oracle with $2,000 and led its growth to a current market cap of around $180 billion. For his efforts, Mr. Ellison has built a personal fortune of around $50 billion. Not bad for a “college drop-out.”

Ellison bookWhile some of Oracle’s success is due to the tech acumen of Mr. Ellison (he’s remaining CTO), and his ability to navigate the good ship Oracle from mainframe computers to minicomputers, personal computers, computer servers and finally, the Internet, aka “the cloud,” it may be his ability to recruit and manage talent that’s driven Oracle’s success.

Now at 70, Mr. Ellison may be thinking about the ultimate “stepping down” we all face. That is unless author Mike Wilson’s book on him is prescient…

Any way you look at it, Larry Ellison’s Oracle is a monster in the tech industry. One former employee said, “The reality is the culture is Larry, and Larry is the culture.” And since that culture includes lining up Pearl Jam for their annual user’s conference, it can’t be all bad.


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