Down in the Valley. Katie Hafner, 9 November 1997. One of Jobs’s closest friends is the new Apple board member Lawrence J. Ellison, a brash, self-absorbed, self-made multibillionaire. The tale of Oracle, the company Ellison co-founded in 1977, is a less familiar chapter in the Silicon Valley story.
Mike Wilson, a reporter for The St. Petersburg Times, has rectified that. In “The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison,” he deftly interlaces Ellison’s personal story with the story of Oracle’s ascent to a $30 billion giant.
Oracle got its big break early on, when Ellison exploited an idea for a new type of relational database. The technology had its roots at I.B.M., but Ellison beat I.B.M. and others to market with a commercial product.
By the time competitors introduced comparable software, Ellison was a multimillionaire. Today, with a personal worth of some $9 billion, he is, according to Forbes, the fourth-richest man in the nation (The New York Times).
Larry Ellison Has House Worries Too. The Walk-Through, Damon Darlin, 1 February 2006. The San Francisco Chronicle published memos from Larry Ellison’s financial adviser detailing concerns that the executive was spending too much on his homes.
Ellison is famous for reportedly spending $200 million recreating a Japanese-style home in Woodside, Calif. He also has other homes in San Francisco, Malibu and elsewhere (The New York Times)