Larry Ellison, the American entrepreneur, a former CEO of Oracle, is one of the richest men of the world (Stone 2002).
Lawrence Ellison was born on August 17, 1944 in the Bronx, New York. His unmarried 19-year-old mother (an immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine) gave little Larry to his aunt and uncle because the 9 months old baby caught severe pneumonia. Larry was educated by his aunt and uncle and that is why he did not even know the name of his biological mother until he turned 12. At the age of 48 he hired a private detective to find and meet his real mother.
The boy spent his childhood in a two-bedroom apartment on the South Side of Chicago. His uncle and adoptive father Louis was an emigrant from Crimea and changed the surname to Ellison to hide his Jewish origins. Louis was rather successful at the beginning of his career by working in the sphere of real estate, but he lost all his money during the Great Depression in 1930.
As a teenager, Larry was a sufficiently independent, self-reliant boy, with a difficult temperament that often led to clashes with his adoptive father. It is worth noticing that Larry had not succeeded at school, disobeyed at home, but he was rather active in sports. He played squash, hockey and volleyball. The boy was not interested in staring into books at school; he was interested in the origin of black holes and other stuff instead. He was firmly convinced in the necessity of creating his fantastic stories because one day they might have come true (Stone 2002).
Larry entered the University of Illinois after finishing the high school, but he left it due to the death of his mother even though the studying process was extremely easy and attractive for him. After one gap year he tried to enter another University – the Chicago University, but this time he was not so engaged in studying and was expelled after the first semester.
Having got to the very bottom of existence, Larry found a new impetus for development and upward movement. His new passions were computers and programming. Giant iron boxes with a wonderful device and a set of punch cards were the most loyal friends for Larry. His eyes lit up, his fingers began to run faster and faster over the keyboard. A few months later he realized that he is able to develop simple programs better than the others.
Soon Larry moved to sunny California. He was actively engaged in programming and wrote customer programs. Pretty good money was usually spent in a moment since he was very poor in saving his earnings. However, he clearly realized that the computers were the future for humanity and the information was the key to the new world – the one who was the first to learn was the king.
In the early 70s he worked for a small company called Amtex. At that moment he develop powerful database with various types of payments and virtual banking operations. From the very employment in Amtex Larry set up the history of Oracle. Firstly, Oracle was incredibly comfortable, versatile and almost perfect database he had created. Larry treated it like a huge living mechanism, he taught it how to find information, compare it, conduct requests and services on the intuitive level (Stone 2002).
Since this was a particularly incredible development, Larry and former Amtex CEO founded a new company and called it Oracle. As you know, oracle is the one who gives absolutely correct answers to all asked questions. And that is a perfect description of the company’s goal and mission.
In 1980 Ellison's company had only eight employees including three founders. But 15 months later IBM started installing the Oracle OS and during the next 7 years the Oracle doubled its sales every year. In 1986, Oracle became a public company, and its initial estimation was 31.5 million dollars.
Oracle, on the contrary to other giant IT companies originating from 1970s, has remained the closest to its entrepreneurial core. The main credit belongs to its charismatic leader, who controls the corporation as if it is still a startup, always remaining in the center of events and personally taking decisions on a variety of issues: from the development of advertising campaign to hiring managers.
Indeed, Larry Ellison is a real actor; he loves playing for the audience and does not care if he speaks to great public or in front of a small group of people. According to Gary Bloom, former executive vice president of Oracle, Larry lives to play (Stone 2006). The number of employees supporting his personality in Oracle is limited while the number opponents are countless. But no matter how controversial, tough and mixed methods of work are performed by Larry Ellison, one can certainty say that his measures bring the desired results. Still, Larry Ellison together with his varied interests and talents, love to extreme sports and endless battles with competitors has already entered the history of software.
Stone, Florence M. The Oracle of Oracle:The Story of Volatile CEO Larry Ellison and the Strategies Behind His Company's Phenomenal Success. 2002.
Larry Ellison Biography. 30 October 2014. 10 July 2015 <http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/ell0bio-1>.