Larry Ellison biography: Salary and career history of Oracle's founder

The lowdown on Larry Ellison's salary, net worth, education and career history

Larry Ellison is one of the most memorable men in tech and has been pivotal in driving forward database development over the last 30 years.

After recently releasing the helm on his beloved Oracle, we take a look at his career and achievements.

Full name: Lawrence Joseph "Larry" Ellison

Date of birth: August 17, 1944

Nationality: American

Net worth: US$ 49.7 billion (He appears on IT Pro's rich list).

Salary: $77 million (2013)

Education: Ellison left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after his second year. Attended University of Chicago for one term before moving to northern California.

Best known for: Being the founder of Oracle and the fifth richest person on the planet. Also a keen sailor, Ellison's Oracle Team USA won the 34th America's Cup in 2013 after trailing 8-1 to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Current role: Executive chairman and CTO of Oracle

Career history: In the 1970s, Ellison began working for Ampex. One of his projects included a database for the CIA he names Oracle.

Inspired by a paper written by Edgar Codd on relational databases, Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories in 1977.

Two years later, the firm was renamed Relational Software. In 1982 this officially became Oracle Systems Corporation after the firm's flagship product, the Oracle database.

In 1990, Oracle almost went bankrupt, in part as a result of a sales strategy caused by the booking of future license sales that failed to materialise. Two revenue restatements and a class action lawsuit against the firm almost sunk Oracle.

Despite this setback and intense competition from IBM, Informix (which IBM later acquired), Sybase and Microsoft, Oracle would dominate the database market in the 1990s. During this time. Ellison and Informix chief executive Phil White led an intense war between the two firms. This led to Informix's downfall and eventual absorption by IBM.

Today, Oracle's main competition comes from IBM (with its DB2) and Microsoft (SQL Server) in the database arena, although DB2 dominates the mainframe and SQL Server runs only on Windows.

In 2009, Oracle bought Sun Microsystems and with it control of popular open source database MySQL.

In 2014, Ellison announced he was stepping down as chief executive of Oracle handing the reins over to Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

Interesting fact: Larry Ellison made a cameo appearance in Iron Man 2 alongside Tesla chairman Elon Musk.

This article was originally published on 10/10/2014 and has been updated multiple times (most recently on 13/11/14).

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