Who wouldn't be Larry Ellison. Or at least who would turn down a fortune estimated at around $45bn? Ellison is the very public face of one of the biggest software companies in the world, but the path to such outrageous riches wasn't necessarily easy, especially not for Oracle staff in the early days.
Ellison worked hard, played hard and expected staff to do likewise (at least the former, if not the latter), but his more laid back co-founder, Bob Miner, was more inclined to knock off at a sensible time and encouraged staff to do likewise.
Oracle's third co-founder, Ed Oates, couldn't clock off for the final time fast enough as soon as the company, and his fortune, were secure by the mid-1990s.
Ellison, though, even at the age of 70, has no plans to leave the office, and he's been central to all of the highs and the lows of the company since it was founded in 1977. Here's the best bits, in our opinion, of almost 40 years of Oracle's history.
11. The company was started as a result of a CIA project codenamed Oracle
Or, at least, that's pretty much how Larry Ellison tells it. In the same keynote he revealed: "Our very first customer was the Central Intelligence Agency."
The CIA was actually a client of Ellison's previous employer Ampex, a company best known for its reel-to-reel tape recorders and recording equipment, and the Oracle project was something that Ellison worked on while at Ampex. The company was building a giant database for the CIA, along with Miner and Oates.
Ellison, of course, liked the name Oracle so much he stole it, first for the company's database product and later as a rather more inspiring name for the company than Software Development Laboratories and a less painful one than Relational Software Inc.
Obviously, California-based Ellison wasn't to know that Oracle was also the name of ITV's teletext service in the 1970s and 1980s.
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