Larry Ellison - The Source of Oracle's Wisdom

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN019
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1976-2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Oracle Corporation
Industry : Computers and information Technology Countries : USA

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"There was an aura about him. He was the kind of person you would like to follow."

- Stuart Feigin, a programming expert at IBM,
commenting on Ellison's leadership.1

"Larry Ellison has strong charisma and is a respected leader in the company. He is also the key thought, opinion and technology leader in the IT industry."

- Keith Budge, MD, Oracle Systems, Singapore Operations.2


In 1998, Lawrence Joseph Ellison popularly known as Larry Ellison (Ellison), the CEO of the second largest software company in the world - Oracle Corporation (Oracle) - was honored with the CRN Industry Hall of Fame3 award.

The award was given to Ellison for his efforts to transform the information technology (IT) industry with his new ideas, revolutionary concepts and ingenious technology. This was not the first time Ellison was being honored for his contribution to the IT industry. He had also bagged the prestigious 'Entrepreneur of the Year Award'4 in 1990, which was awarded by the Harvard Business School, and the Smithsonian Information Technology Leadership Award5 for Global Integration in 1994. 

According to the Forbes list, of the 400 richest Americans in 2000, Ellison was the second richest man in the US.

In another Forbes survey, Ellison was ranked first in the list of the highest paid CEOs in the world for the year 2001, with an annual compensation of $706 million.6 Ellison had transformed Oracle from a small start-up in the early 1980s to a multi-billion dollar company in the early 2000s.

In the financial year 2001-02, Oracle generated a net income of $2.224 bn on revenues of $9.67 bn (Refer Exhibit I).

Under Ellison's leadership, Oracle became the leading and fastest growing database software company in the world. By early 2003, Oracle had global operations spread over 145 countries, employing more than 40,000 IT professionals.

Larry Ellison-The Source of Oracle's Wisdom - Next Page>>

1] Quoted in the book, "The Difference between God and Larry Ellison," by Mike Wilson, page 40, William Morrow & Company, 1997.

2] In an article titled "Leadership in Action," by Adeline Heng, Singapore Institute of Management, dated April-May 2000.

3] CRN is the leading newsweekly for technology builders in the US. The Industry Hall of Fame honors pioneers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who are the key people in evolving the most dynamic technology company in the world.

4] The award honored those persons who had built and successfully developed their companies.

5] Established in 1990, the award is given to outstanding leaders in the IT industry.

6] A major portion of the compensation includes the profits earned by exercising stock options.


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