Larry Ellison, is one of the most outrageous, outspoken personalities in the tech industry.
And he has been for years.
He’s held the CEO role at Oracle since 1977. That makes him the longest-running tech CEO in Silicon Valley history.
And that certainly gives him the right to have opinions on just about everything.
At that same conference, he also admitted that Oracle would start selling cloud services, too.
'We'll make cloud computing announcements because, you know, if orange is the new pink, we'll make orange blouses. I mean, I'm not gonna fight this thing. .. well, maybe we'll do an ad. Uh, I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing, other than market ... you know, change the wording on some of our ads.'
'I started NetSuite. NetSuite was my idea. I called up Evan Goldberg and said, 'We're going to do ERP on the Internet, software-as-a-service.' Six months later Marc Benioff, finding out what NetSuite was doing, and kind of copied it,' Ellison said at the 2012 AllThingsD's D10 conference.
Back in 2000, when Oracle rival Microsoft was being investigated for antitrust violations by the government, Oracle hired private investigators to sift through the trash of a research group Oracle suspected of being funded by Microsoft.
'It's absolutely true we set out to expose Microsoft's covert activities,' Ellison said at a press conference. 'I feel very good about what we did.… Maybe our investigation organisation may have done things unsavory, but it's not illegal. We got the truth out.'
In May, Larry Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai. For months, he said nothing about his plans until an October interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC.
That's when he explained that he's turning Lanai into a sustainable experiment using all the latest, eco-friendly technology for power and organic farming. That includes electric cars, turning seawater into fresh water, and using solar power.
'It is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale,' he said. (Read the full quote here.)
In October, 2012, Oracle's biggest rival, SAP introduced a new database called HANA.
Ellison treated the news with his typical rival-bashing bravado. During a quarterly conference call with analysts, he said:
'When SAP, and, specifically Hasso Plattner, said they're going to build this in-memory database and compete with Oracle, I said. God, get me the name of that pharmacist, they must be on drugs.'
Running a company is 'all about creative destruction, right?' Ellison also said the AllThingsD's D10 conference last year.
It's like 'Woody's Allen's great line about relationships. A relationship is like a shark, it either has to move forward or it dies. And that's true about your company.'
Ellison has publicly called Apotheker some choice names like 'thief' and a 'criminal.'
'SAP pleaded guilty to criminal theft of our software. Let me be clear. I'm not accusing SAP of anything. What did SAP do? Did you engage in criminal behaviour and steal lots of Oracle software? Yes. That's SAP. Who was CEO when you were doing all this criminal stuff? Leo.'
Ellison was a very vocal supporter of his friend Mark Hurd when the HP board fired him from the CEO job.
He sent an e-mail to the New York Times at the time and said this about it AllThingsD's D10:
Ellison then hired Hurd.
Ellison was paid $90.7 million last year, up 24% from the year prior, making him the highest paid CEO of a public company.
In a 2008 interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes, Ellison explained his motivations this way:
'Who am I winning for? Am I winning for Oracle shareholders or is it simply a matter of personal vanity? I'll admit to it. Mea culpa. An awful lot of it is personal vanity.'
After Oracle bought Sun and became a direct competitor to its former partner HP, the two landed in court, suing each other. HP is trying to get Oracle to pay $4 billion in damages in the latest legal battle.
But, surprisingly, Ellison holds HP in high esteem.
'I wish HP nothing but the best. I think HP is an icon. Those of us who had their careers in the Valley think of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett as role models. We would love to be half as good as they were.'
What keeps Ellison going? 'Red Bull,' he quipped at the D10 conference.
But then he offered his true 'corny' thoughts that life is 'a journey' and that he's fascinated by people and technology-- and winning.
'I enjoy the competition and the process of learning as we compete. The whole thing is just fascinating. I don't know what I'll do when I retire. When I go sailing, I look around ... anyone want to race? I just love competing as opposed to just going out and watching the sunset.'
Ellison knows his reputation is somewhere between bad boy and insane.
'I really should never talk about myself,' he said at the D10 conference. 'Frequently I'll be interviewing with somebody or talking and in about 15 minutes they'll interrupt me mid-stream and say, 'Oh my God, you're nothing like I'd thought you'd be.''
And with a self-deprecating chuckle he added, 'Well, it's a very low bar. I didn't start to bite the head off a small animal during the meeting.'
Larry Ellison is a big philanthropist, particularly for medical and anti-ageing causes, but he's no angel.
He's known for founding NetSuite and Salesforce.com years ago. But Salesforce.com, and its CEO Marc Benioff, have become his rivals in recent years.
'I swore I would never get involved in another startup ever again in my entire life.'
But he recently broke that promise and invested in a medical startup that uses computers to discover drugs in the same way that aeronautics companies use computers to test aeroplanes.
'We're basically building chemical simulators so we can design and test drugs.'
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