On Wednesday, Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, surpassed Jeff Bezos, a fellow technology mogul, to become the third wealthiest individual globally. This accomplishment came as the shares of Ellison’s software company reached record-breaking levels.
Thanks to a nearly 5% surge in Oracle stock, Larry Ellison’s net worth experienced a 4% leap on Wednesday, reaching $152 billion. This significant increase left Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, trailing behind with a fortune of $149 billion.
This marks the first time that Ellison has secured the position of the third-wealthiest person globally, except for a brief period on Tuesday. Over the past two months, Ellison’s wealth has grown by approximately $45 billion, courtesy of a remarkable 45% rally in Oracle shares driven by the artificial intelligence frenzy. On Monday, Ellison proclaimed Oracle as the leading provider of generative AI software.
Co-Founder to Billionaire Chairman
In 1993, Ellison was officially recognized as a billionaire for the first time, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. It was 46 years ago that Ellison co-founded Oracle, where he served as CEO for an impressive 37 years until 2017, contributing to the company’s growth as one of the most valuable technology firms globally. Presently, Ellison retains the position of Oracle’s largest shareholder and serves as the chairman of its board.
Aside from his significant stake in Oracle, Ellison possesses a remarkable real estate portfolio valued at over $1 billion. Notably, in 2012, he acquired an island in Hawaii for a staggering $300 million, adding to his diverse collection of properties.
Reports indicate that Oracle is capitalizing on the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) by investing in Cohere, a competitor of OpenAI. Cohere recently completed a funding round, amassing a total of $270 million. This investment aligns with Oracle’s strategy to leverage AI technology.
The positive outlook for AI is garnering investor enthusiasm, as evidenced by Bank of America economists attributing the S&P 500’s entry into a bull market largely to investor confidence in AI.
Oracle’s Largest Stockholder
As the largest stockholder in Oracle, Ellison possesses approximately 42.9% of the company’s shares, as stated in a 2022 SEC proxy statement. Additionally, according to another 2022 SEC proxy statement, the 78-year-old billionaire holds a 1.5% stake in Tesla.
Ellison’s notable assets include Hawaii’s sixth largest island, Lana’i, an extensive collection of Japanese and samurai art, numerous California residences, and a fleet of luxurious yachts. In 2010, he sold his colossal 453-foot yacht named Rising Sun, which ranked as the 10th largest yacht globally, to Hollywood mogul David Geffen. Ellison currently owns the 288-foot yacht Musashi, which ranks 50th in size.
Oracle stands as one of the largest providers of corporate software worldwide. In 1977, Ellison and his partners initiated the sale of the pioneering relational database, originally named the Oracle Database. Five years later, they renamed their company “Oracle” after their groundbreaking software.
Exceptional Engineer and Mentor
In 2020, Musk praised Ellison, stating, “He is truly one of the most exceptional engineers I’ve encountered.” Ellison had served on Tesla’s board from 2018 to 2022. Musk further emphasized Ellison’s remarkable abilities, mentioning that he possesses a remarkable aptitude for comprehending technical subjects swiftly, even when they fall outside his usual expertise beyond software-related matters.
Before the midterm elections last year, Ellison made generous donations exceeding $20 million to support Republican causes. A significant portion of this contribution went towards funding a super PAC associated with Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), effectively providing substantial financial support. Notably, Ellison attended Scott’s official presidential campaign launch last month, and his involvement prompted Scott to publicly acknowledge Ellison as one of his “mentors.”