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The $28 billion net worth. The jets. The megayacht. The wedding pictures taken by Steve Jobs. (Yes, that Steve Jobs.) Take a look the posh perks of being Larry Ellison.
Sure he's got tons of money, but Ellison has given away millions to charity. For instance, Ellison recently donated $1 million to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. But his philanthropic ways don't always end with smiling photo-ops: Ellison pledged $115 million to Harvard University and then in 2006 rescinded the offer once president Lawrence Summers (Ellison's pal) was booted from his Harvard job. (Like Harvard really needed it, anyway.) Any of Larry's subjects, er, pals, will tell you there's one thing he likes as much as money: Control.
The charmed life of Larry Ellison wasn't always caviar and megayachts. The famously competitive Oracle (ORCL) CEO was first abandoned by his mother, then a college dropout and a wannabe database engineer with not much cash to his name. "I had all the disadvantages required for success," Ellison once said. Today, the 65-year-old self-made billionaire has a lifestyle of the rich and famous—and we've got the pictures, rankings and details to show you just how rich. Larry knows luxury, and "little" is not part of his lexicon.
Where to begin? Ellison's adoration of all-things-Japanese is well known (Exhibit A: His Estate). High-seas sailing and dare-devil piloting are the thrill-seeking activities he favors. Next up: How about an NBA franchise? Ellison has been long rumored to purchase the Golden State Warriors, who play at the Oracle Arena. So what's taking so long? "Unfortunately, you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team," Ellison said, according to an LATimes.com blog. He shoots, he scores!
Oracle's Redwood Shores HQ, one of the most iconic images in Silicon Valley, is known as "LarryLand." The tranquil body of water, which creates peace and harmony for those employees toiling away in the shimmering towers surrounding it, is affectionately known as "Larry's Lagoon." Ahh-hhhhh.
OK, so we weren't able to run the license plate number through the California DMV, but photos of "Larry's Porsche Carrera GT" abound on the Internet. And, judging by this two-spot-hogging parking job at Oracle's HQ, how could this sweet ride belong to anyone other than Larry? (Well, maybe it could be Oracle co-president Charles Phillips' Porsche. Or Safra Catz's.)
Tech guys—no matter how wealthy—aren't known for being A-list Hollywood-type celebrities. And this applies to Larry Ellison. But here he is with Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. So who is Ellison's best-known BFF? That would be long-time pal and Apple chief Steve Jobs, who was the "official photographer" at Ellison's fourth marriage ceremony in 2004, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Wonder if Larry got a pre-release iPad?
OK, so he's worth $28 billion. So what does Ellison's "portfolio" look like? A sampling: Annual salary from Oracle: $4.59 million. He owns more than 20 percent of Oracle, and his shares have increased 70 percent in value during the past year. The ultimate "have my cake and eat it, too" holding: Ellison owns a 52 percent stake in SaaS ERP vendor NetSuite—a rising business apps competitor—and those shares are worth $480 million. Larry does have to be careful with his personal finances, though: E-mails from Ellison's nervous accountant, revealed in 2006, show that Larry's not afraid of "runaway" spending. "I'm worried, Larry," the accountant wrote to him, in a 2002 e-mail. "I think it's imperative that we start to budget and plan." Larry on a budget?!
Ellison is a pilot himself (watch video of him flying his MiG 29 fighter jet), but when he needs to travel in style he relies on this beauty. He reportedly owns several other planes. Best part? Not having to take off your expensive Italian loafers to go through a TSA security check point.
It's called the Rising Sun, it's 450-or-so-feet long (one of the biggest private yachts in the world), and it reportedly cost more than $200 million to build. This floating ego-booster is so big, in fact, that finding a dock is occasionally challenging. Ellison once said this about his megayacht: "I made a mistake, making Rising Sun so big. It is one and a half football fields long." Today, Ellison actually co-owns the vessel, with entertainment mogul David Geffen, which might make for tricky scheduling problems.
The Real Estate
To say that Ellison owns a house or two would be like saying that Tiger Woods' marriage is going through a rough patch. There's the $200 million he spent on his authentic Japanese-inspired estate in Woodside, Calif., which offers: A main house, a two-bedroom guest house, three cottages, a barn converted into a gym, a five-acre man-made lake, two waterfalls and two bridges, according to an Almanac Online article. The legal wrangling over the assessment and property taxes made headlines, and Larry's bill was eventually reduced from $1.8 million in 2007 to $751,041 in 2008, notes the article. Ellison owns several other properties in and around the Bay area, though none with quite as big a lake.
The Forbes Ranking
How does a high-tech CEO measure himself against his peers? By his ranking on the Forbes' Richest People lists, of course! In 2010, Ellison weighed in at #6 on the The World's Billionaires list. His net worth: $28 billion, which is 28 with nine zeros following it. Reflecting on his wealth, in 2006, Ellison told Forbes: "When you were younger, you measured your success monetarily, right? Being first is more important to me. I have so much more money. Whatever money is, it's just a method of keeping score now. I mean, I certainly don't need more money."
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