IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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).

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Kyndryl strikes up new delivery partnership with Oracle
IT infrastructure

Kyndryl strikes up new delivery partnership with Oracle

24 Jun 2022
CMO job description: What does a chief marketing officer do?
Business strategy

CMO job description: What does a chief marketing officer do?

9 Jun 2022
CFO job description: What does a chief financial officer do?
Business strategy

CFO job description: What does a chief financial officer do?

9 Jun 2022
What does a CISO do?
Careers & training

What does a CISO do?

12 May 2022

Most Popular

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022