Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Larry Ellison a Must Case Study for CEOs

BLOOMBERG GAME CHANGERS follows Larry Ellison from his early days in Chicago through the founding of the multibillion-dollar software company to his rise as the highest paid executive of the last decade with a total compensation of $1.84 billion.
If you've interacted with any government, bought anything online, called a mobile phone, and paid with a credit card, you've probably encountered an Oracle product.  Oracle is both hardware and software for the management of database, customer relationships, and supply chain.

Rebellious, unconventional, and whip smart, Larry Ellison worked technical colleagues and business customers alike.  He and Steve Jobs were different personalities, in specifics that were no doubt more evident in their private lives than to the public eye, but they must've been alike in their tenacity, determination, and boldness.
He's the Samurai Warrior of Silicon Valley.  Larry's attitude is: If you want to compete against me, then be prepared to get crushed.
While he took the high road vis-a-vis Bill Gates and Microsoft, during a 1996 appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, Ellison was evidently not immune to going underhanded.  It was well-said that Oracle needed to beat Microsoft by making a better product, but he apparently took to a private detective to dig up dirt on Gates, too.
He sees around the corner, well before many of us get to the end of the street.
The idea behind the Network Computer, to my eyes, foresaw tablets by 10 years.  Although Apple would probably never admit to it, the NC predated the iPad.  You could surf the net and send e-mails with it, in a far user-friendly way, than what?  Not just Windows 95, but also Apple itself and other computer makers.  Ellison remobilized a company, that must've become complacent as the 1980s ended, and he brought it back to high respectability by the mid-1990s.
Larry Ellison is pretty similar to the New York Yankees. They're the team you love to hate, and as a competitor to Larry Ellison, I'm sure he's the person that people love to hate, given how successful he's been.  
In this biography, Ellison is a breathtaking case study.  Whether or not he is someone whom a particular CEO ought to emulate is not for me to say.  But I do recommend watching this video, if only to prompt reflections on what the CEO needs to be, in order to do his or her work effectively, and ultimately hit critical targets.  Lessons learned must be mulled over, not adopted blindly or swallowed whole.  Only then can these lessons have usefulness, even meaning, for the CEO.
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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