Oracle's Larry Ellison emailed a touching tribute when an employee, his friend, died

Larry EllisonFlickr/Port of San DiegoOracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison

Oracle’s founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison also holds the title CTO and is still very much involved in the daily goings on at the company.

This even though he stepped down from the CEO role two years ago.

But Ellison rarely sends out company-wide emails to the troops. One employee we talked to who’s been there several years has never gotten an email from Ellison.

So employees at the company were surprised to get an email from Ellison about a month ago, particularly such a touching and elegantly written one.

It was a memorial to a Derek Williams, Ellison’s friend. Williams was an executive vice president at Oracle who died suddenly on on July 23 from a quick-onset infection.

A person close to Oracle shared it with Business Insider. Here is an edited version:

… I first met Derek 28 years ago, in 1998 … hired to work in Oracle UK. Two years later, Derek was promoted and started running Oracle’s Asia Pacific Region, which he helped build from the ground up to its current configuration of 75 offices in 29 countries.

… It’s impossible for me to comprehend how I could speak with Derek on a Monday call and then be told I’ll never speak with him again. His sudden and unexpected death caught all of us unprepared. I have lost a dear friend of nearly three decades. Life is a fragile thing.”

Ellison then expressed his sympathy for the family and ended with “We will all miss you, Derek.”

On a tangential note, Ellison has apparently been thinking a lot about the limitations of modern medicine lately.

Earlier this year he donated $200 million to help USC’s famed Dr. David Agus build a new kind of treatment facility. Agus once treated Ellison’s best friend Steve Jobs for cancer. He is the New York Times best-selling author of books like “The End of Illness” and “A Short Guide to a Long Life.”

This new center will be targeted at cancer, not necessarily infectious disease, but its goal is to blend medicine with cutting edge tech and engineering technology to come up with new ways to fight illness.

NOW WATCH: There is a secret US government airline that flies out of commercial airports

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.