Lawrence Joseph Ellison – commonly referred to as Larry – is an American businessman, internet entrepreneur and philanthropist who was born in Bronx, New York on August 17, 1944. He currently works as the chief technology officer and executive chairman of Oracle Corporation. He is listed by Forbes as being the 3rd wealthiest in America as well as one of the top 10 wealthiest individuals in the world with a net worth of 45 billion.
In 1977, Ellison and two of his colleagues established Software Development Labs and signed a contract with the CIA to establish a database-management system that they called Oracle. At the time the company accumulated a revenue of a little under $1 million per year with less than 10 employees. However, by 1981 IBM enrolled to use Oracle and caused the company’s sale to double every year for the next several years. In 1986 Oracle Corporation held its initial public offering (IPO).
But due to accounting related issues it lead to the wipe out of a vast majority of the company’s market capitalization and put the company on the brink of bankruptcy. However, once the company changed up its management and implemented a product-cycle refresh, by 1992 Oracle was the leader of database-management.
As the company continued to experience success year after year, based on the fact that Ellison was the largest shareholder of Oracle, he became one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. He continued to expand his company through acquisitions, some of which include: Siebel Etl Systems, Sun Microsystems and People Soft, all of which helped the company reach a market cap of $185 billion.
Besides the fact that he is well known for being one of the wealthiest men in the world, and for being the co-founder of Oracle Corporation, he is well known for being an avid philanthropist as well. In 1992 he donated $5 million to fund the operations of the Lawrence J. Ellison Musculoskeletal Research Center. In 2007, he donated $500,000 to fortify a community center that was located in Sderot, Israel after he discovered that it was not fortified to withstand rocket attacks.
He also donated $10 million dollars to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, which he proclaimed were the bravest in the world. Besides that, he signed The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a campaign which strives to encourage wealthy individuals to morally commit to contributing a portion of their wealth to philanthropic causes. In fact, Forbes estimated that he donated as much as 1% of his wealth which is a little over $160 million in total.