Is Larry Ellison the savior of Silicon Valley?

Commentary about business and finance.
Sept. 29 2005 4:17 PM

The J.P. Morgan of Silicon Valley

Is Larry Ellison the software industry's savior?

(Continued from Page 1)

Oracle isn't the biggest company in the technology universe—yet. Its market capitalization is about $62 billion, less than that of Cisco ($112 billion), Intel ($146 billion), Google ($86 billion), IBM ($126 billion), and Microsoft ($273 billion). But hundreds of enterprise software companies are still out there waiting to be bought, and Oracle has a healthy stock and a growing pile of cash.

Like Morgan, Ellison is in the business of delivering an unpleasant truth to CEOs of smaller companies: You won't be able to make it on your own. Others may see his hostile bids as imperious and rapacious. But for the 61-year-old Ellison, who in 2003 married thirtysomething novelist Melanie Craft, it's just a matter of finally acting like a grown-up. As he told biographer Matthew Symonds in Vanity Fair: "It's very difficult for Silicon Valley to adjust to the notion that they won't be forever young."

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