Playboy Ellison stalks bridge boy Gates

Playboy Ellison stalks bridge boy Gates

There was something very satisfying for us hard-partying, worldly wise hacks of the Tabloid press to read last week that Oracle's man-about-town Larry Ellison had surpassed Microsoft's nerdish Bill Gates as the world's richest man.

While Gates is busy dressing in cardigans, playing bridge on the Net or giving money away to good philanthropic and humanitarian causes, Ellison is dressing in designer clothes, building Japanese-style mansions and winning the world's most prestigious blue water ocean races.

Of course, as the personal wealth figures for these companies' founding fathers are calculated on the share price values of their huge respective holdings in Oracle and Microsoft, things could change at the drop of a hat - or even a monopoly remedy by the DoJ for that matter.

Calculated on last Thursday's Nasdaq closing price for the respective shares, Gates' 740,964,300 shares in Microsoft (at $US69.8125) saw him worth a paltry $52 billion, down from over $100 billion in December last year.

On the other hand, a legend to Oracle investors, Ellison has steered a share price surge of over 500 per cent since May last year.

At Thursday's close Oracle's $77.3125 meant that Ellison's 689,706,050 shares were worth a tad under $54 billion.

Go the jet-setting playboy! Boo! Hiss! to the bridge boy. Besides, Oracle does cool, cutting edge B2B and database software while Microsoft relies on marketing prowess and monopolistic practices to sell its fat, patchwork products.

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