Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

The Long Reach of Oracle’s Larry Ellison

If it ever seems like Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is everywhere, it’s not entirely your imagination. He’s a busy man. Aside from running Oracle, winning the America’s Cup and having fun with being compared to the fictitious billionaire Tony Stark from the “Iron Man” movies, he’s had an indelible effect on the software industry — not just with Oracle, the $36 billion software giant, but with other companies he’s had both direct and indirect hands in.

The two most obvious examples are NetSuite, where Ellison was a founding investor, and where CEO Marc Benioff is an Oracle alum — and where, come to think of it, Ellison was a founding investor, too. When you start considering the numerous Oracle alumni who have gone on to other things, Ellison’s reach becomes longer still.

The graphic below comes from the folks at Software Advice and aims to illustrate via these numerous connections the impact that Ellison and Oracle have had throughout the tech and software industry.

The top half represents independent companies where former Oracle execs either run the show or are in senior roles, while the bottom half shows companies that Oracle has acquired — and, let’s admit it, there have been a lot of them — where Oracle alumni in senior roles have found themselves re-integrated back into the mother ship.

While I can’t help but think the graphic is incomplete — it sure seems like there must be other companies that could be on it — it sure is interesting to look at.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work