Spotlight on: Larry Ellison Chief executive, Oracle
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Tuesday 17 April 2012
He of the vast riches?
Only Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are higher than him on the list of wealthiest Americans, thanks to his estimated $36bn (£23bn) pile. It's 35 years since he founded Oracle, and it has moved well beyond database software, into hardware and IT services, where it butts heads with other tech giants.
Ah, butting heads, his favourite pastime
Fancy cars, big houses, tennis tournaments and sailing might rank above butting heads when it comes to his recreational activities, but at Oracle he is quite the aggressor.
What's he up to now?
Headed to court.
You're right. It has seemed like an endless round of legal tussles these last couple of years. Mr Ellison took the stand when Oracle took on German software rival SAP, claiming it stole customer data, and there's a retrial this summer. He also goaded Hewlett-Packard by hiring Mark Hurd after he was ousted as HP's chief executive.
The opponent this time?
Google. Oracle claims Google's Android smartphone operating system infringes patents and copyrights it owns on the Java programming language.
That sounds a big deal
Certainly Mr Ellison thinks so. Oracle is claiming $1bn in damages. Expect him in the witness box saying Java was the main reason he paid $7.4bn to buy Sun Microsystems in 2009.
Even if it loses, it reckons damages ought to be less than $100m. The trial could throw up some interesting financial secrets about Android, though, so watch this space.
Why can't everyone just get along?
That'll be the billions of dollars at stake in mobile computing, where every tech company has overlapping patents. A judge had ordered Mr Ellison to sit down with Larry Page of Google to try to reach a deal, but the talks lasted about five minutes. And that's not just because Mr Ellison loves butting heads.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...