Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had about as good a day on Sunday as possible. First, his Oracle USA sailing team won two races, making that four in a row, to keep its hopes alive for winning the America’s Cup.
The score is now 8 to 5, New Zealand. The first team to win 9 races wins the Cup and if Ellison’s team pulls this off, it will be the most exciting come-back in racing history. Oracle had to win two extra races, a harsh penalty for cheating.
Then, he stood in front of the largest crowd ever to open his company’s annual conference, Oracle OpenWorld. The conference has attracted 60,000 people to San Francisco and 2 million online viewers.
So Ellison, always a good speaker, was in particularly high humour Sunday night. He joked about his titanium America’s Cup boat and his titanium watch “The watch was a lot cheaper than the boat.”
Then, when he launched a new product with the cumbersome name of “The Oracle Database Backup Logging Recovery Appliance,” he cracked the following Steve Jobs-inspired joke. (Jobs was Ellison’s best friend.)
“Who was the genius that named this product? You’re looking at him. That’s why they pay me the big bucks. ‘iPhone’ heh, big deal, how about this?”
The other three products he launched on Sunday had equally literal names, though Ellison didn’t take the credit or the blame for those.
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