Larry's Kids: How A Bunch Of Oracle Alums Are Poised To Take Over Silicon Valley

Larry Ellison in front of his boat

Photo: AP

Last week, we brought you up to date on the PayPal “mafia” — the group of former PayPal employees who have gone on to become powerful investors and CEOs.But there’s another company that keeps popping up on resumes in Silicon Valley.


Larry Ellison runs a tight ship, and cutting your teeth at Oracle is known to be one of the best ways to learn the enterprise software business.

Right now, the enterprise space is on the verge of its biggest transition in decades, as trends like software-as-a-service and smartphones break the long time grip of companies like SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Ironically, some of the high-profile people driving these trends used to work at Oracle or have some other connection to Ellison and his powerful company.

Check it out….

Marc Benioff is leading the charge against old enterprise software at

Benioff is probably the highest-profile Oracle alum. He founded Salesforce more than a decade ago, and its cloud-based enterprise solutions are increasingly coming into competition with Oracle's products. Benioff and Salesforce have also invested in and partnered with a other cloud-based startups like

Most recently, Benioff and Ellison got into a big public spat after Oracle canceled Benioff's speaking engagement at Oracle World. He rescheduled it for a nearby restaurant and proceeded to rip into Oracle for promoting the 'false cloud.'

Zach Nelson and Evan Goldberg left Oracle to run cloud-based ERP company NetSuite, which Larry Ellison has a stake in.

Goldberg (left) founded the company and is its CTO, while Nelson runs NetSuite as its CEO.

Larry Ellison owns about two-thirds of this publicly traded company, but has limited control.

Ray Lane has been trying to guide HP through a hard transition as its chairman.

Lane was a powerful man at Oracle until a big fight with Ellison forced him out in 2000.

He worked in venture capital for Kleiner Perkins for the next decade, then joined the board of big Oracle competitor HP late in 2010.

Since then, HP has stumbled, hiring and then firing CEO Leo Apotheker, considering and then abandoning a plan to spin of HP's personal computer business, and making a questionable acquisition of enterprise search company Autonomy. But with new CEO Meg Whitman at the helm, things might be turning around.

Dave DeWalt has sold two companies for billions and now sits on the board at Jive Software

DeWalt worked at Oracle early in his career, and went on to lead Documentum, a document management company that EMC bought for $1.7 billion in 2003.

Then, he went on to become the CEO of antivirus company McAfee, which Intel bought last year for close to $8 billion.

Earlier this year, he joined the board of cloud-based collaboration company Jive Software, which filed for an IPO this summer.

He was rumoured to be taking over as head of security company Palo Alto Networks this summer, but that rumour turned out to be false.

Tien Tzuo is the founder of one of the Valley's hot young cloud startups, Zuora.

Zuora creates subscription billing technology for businesses, and just raised a $36 million C round.

Tzuo worked at Oracle in the 1990s and later led strategy for

Michael Gregoire leads Taleo, which provides a cloud-based service for managing talent.

Gregoire was an exec at PeopleSoft for five years before leaving in the wake of Oracle's hostile takeover. He joined Taleo as its CEO in 2005. He's also part of the Taleo bicycle racing team.

Thomas Siebel left Oracle to form his own company and later sold it back to Oracle for $5.8 billion.

He's not very involved in the tech industry anymore. Now he runs First Virtual Group, a holding company focused on agribusiness and real estate, and devotes a lot of time to philanthropy.

Gary Bloom leads eMeter, which helps utilities with smart metering.

Bloom was at Oracle for 14 years before leaving to become the CEO of storage company Veritas in 2000. Symantec bought Veritas for more than $13 billion in 2005 and Bloom left a year later.

Now he's the CEO of eMeter, and also sits on the board of cloud computing company BMC and recruitment management company Taleo.

David Thompson oversees IT at security company Symantec.

He was CIO at PeopleSoft for 10 years, then became CIO of Oracle for about a year in 2005 when it bought PeopleSoft. Now he's the CIO at Symantec, the largest independent security software company.

Jonathan Schwartz was the CEO of Sun when Oracle bought it, and now sits on a number of tech boards.

He's better known as the CEO of Sun in the last few years of his decline, but he managed about eight months at Oracle before resigning with a haiku that read 'Financial crisis/stalled too many customers/CEO no more.'

Most recently he joined the board of Moxie, which provides social networking software for the enterprise.

Charles Philips fled the Valley for enterprise company Infor.

Philips was a president at Oracle for about six years. In early 2010, he suffered a scandal when a former mistress put up billboards and a Web site featuring the two of them together.

In September, Phillips stepped down and was replaced by former HP CEO Mark Hurd. Philips is now the CEO of Infor, an enterprise software company based in Marietta, Georgia.

Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield (not pictured) bolted PeopleSoft after Oracle's hostile takeover and cofounded Workday.

Bhursi and Duffield never worked for Ellison, but were ousted from PeopleSoft after Oracle's purchase went through. They went on to found Workday, a cloud-based HR and financial software company with $300 million in annual bookings. Bhusri also is a partner at Greylock.

There's even an online club for ex-Oracle members.

It's called Club Ex-Oracle. Former employees gather there to network and gripe.

Now, check out what all those former PayPal people are doing...

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at