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Larry Ellison

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Biography

Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, a major database software company.

Ellison was born in New York City to Florence Spellman, a 19-year-old unwed Jewish mother. At his mother's request, he was given to his mother's aunt and uncle in Chicago to raise. Lillian Spellman Ellison and Louis Ellison adopted him when he was nine months old. Ellison did not learn the name of his mother or meet her until he was 48; the identity of his father is unknown.

The Ellison home was a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, populated mostly with lower middle class Jews. Ellison remembers his adoptive mother as warm and loving, in contrast to his austere, unsupportive, and often distant adoptive father, a Russian Jew from the Crimea who adopted the name Ellison to honor his point of entry into the USA, Ellis Island, as well as to conceal his Jewish ancestry. Louis was a modest government employee who had made a small fortune in Chicago real estate, only to lose it during the Great Depression.

Larry was a bright but inattentive student. He left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the end of his second year, after not taking his final exams because his adoptive mother had just died. After spending a summer in Northern California where he lived with his friend Chuck Weiss, he attended the University of Chicago for one term, where he first encountered computer programming. At 20 years of age, he moved to northern California permanently.

On 18 December 2003, Ellison married Melanie Craft, a romance novelist and Oberlin grad, at his Woodside estate. His friend, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, was the official photographer.

In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of a mismatch between cash and revenues. This crisis, which almost resulted in Oracle's bankruptcy, came about because of Oracle's "up-front" marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses. This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also to settle out of court class action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison would later say that Oracle had made "an incredible business mistake."

In 2005, Oracle paid Ellison a $975,000 salary, a $6,500,000 bonus, and other compensation of $955,100.

Ellison is a licensed pilot and has owned several unusual aircraft including fighter jets. Ellison has been cited several times by city of San Jose for violating its limits on late night takeoffs and landings from San Jose Mineta International Airport by planes weighing more than 75,000 pounds (34 tonnes). In 2001, San Jose granted him a personal waiver from these regulations.

This article or section includes a list of references or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations.You can improve this article by introducing more precise citations.
- The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: Inside Oracle Corporation and Symonds (2003).
- Larry Ellison: Database Genius of Oracle. Craig Peters
- Everyone Else Must Fail. Karen Southwick
- The Oracle of Oracle. Florence M. Stone
- Larry Ellison, Sheer Nerve. Daniel Ehrenhaft.



 


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