Oracle Founder Larry Ellison May Be Just What Tesla’s Board Needs



While Elon Musk might be larger than life in Silicon Valley, he’s not (ahem) universally loved there. There’s been tiffs with Mark ZuckerbergJeff Bezos, and others. That said, he’s got some serious allies. Google’s Larry Page even talked about leaving his fortune to Musk when he dies. And Elon is often considered Godfather of the PayPal mafia which includes heavy hitters who went on to found some companies you might’ve heard of (i.e. LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube).

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Oracle’s Larry Ellison (Image: Forbex)

In any event, Tesla recently announced new two new board members. The company’s first board pick, Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, was prescient. Her human resources background (ranging from Walgreens to Kelloggs) brings Tesla some critical HR expertise right as the company readies itself for rapid growth. But investors also liked Tesla’s second new addition — a Silicon Valley icon who might hold some sway with Musk — Larry Ellison.

“Yes, it’s that Larry Ellison — the Oracle founder, and one of the richest men in the world, who made a cameo alongside Musk in Iron Man 2,” notes Green Car Reports. In the early 1990s, Ellison sat on another board too. When Steve Jobs resumed control and catapulted Apple to new heights, it was Ellison who Jobs recruited to join Apple’s board of directors.

“A Silicon Valley legend, Ellison built Oracle into a global powerhouse from scratch… [turning] Oracle into the world’s biggest provider of corporate databases and other essential back-office software and services.” And, “Ellison holds 3 million Tesla shares, about 1.7% of the company, worth about $1 billion,” reports The LA Times.

Above: Ellison’s cameo in Iron Man 2 (Image: Critical Commons)

Furthermore, “With a fortune of $58 billion, ranking tenth on Forbes’ list of world billionaires, Ellison carries a Hollywood-style glamour unusual in Silicon Valley. He owns several mansions along the beach in Malibu, races sailing yachts, owns motor yachts, drives exotic automobiles, and owns practically all the land on Lanai, one of the Hawaiian islands.”

In contrast, “Musk ranks 54th on the Forbes list, with an estimated net worth of about $20 billion.” Lloyd Greif, head of an LA-based investment banking firm says, “Larry is a smart guy, a strong guy, he’s not going to be anybody’s patsy… And he’s going to be paying attention [to Tesla] for all kinds of reasons, including his own wallet.”

Nevertheless, “The 74-year-old Ellison is one of Musk’s most vocal supporters and described him as a ‘very close friend’ at a financial analyst meeting in October.” Ellison was quick to condemn those clacking away at their keyboards criticizing Musk’s management abilities earlier this year.

Above: Ellison talks about Tesla, Elon Musk, and why he invested in the company  (Youtube: Bloomberg Technology)

“This guy is landing rockets,” Ellison said of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. “You know, he’s landing rockets on robot drone rafts in the ocean. And you’re saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Well, who else is landing rockets? You ever land a rocket on a robot drone? Who are you?”

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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9 Comments on "Oracle Founder Larry Ellison May Be Just What Tesla’s Board Needs"

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Larry Ellison is hard core. I wonder if he’s tempered his sentiment that winning isn’t enough: the other guy (competition) has to lose.

More accurate perhaps:

Winning is not enough. All others must lose.

But here are some much better quotes: (very nice to have this guy on your team!)

I‘d say of the two Wilson-Thompson is the one they might actually need. Tesla has a HR problem, with too many talents leaving too quickly. So I guess she could do some good work there.

But sure, the other guy had an Iron Man cameo, just like Musk! So also very important… And we all know that Tesla has lacked a testosterone driven brash (self perceived) alpha male.

“There’s been tiffs with Mark Zuckerberg”

Oh dear, Zuckerberg, such a pleasant, ethical guy.

I do not think this is a positive development at all.

I identify Oracle (and Larry Ellison) as greedy cash grabbers who squeeze the last cent out from their customers and provide mediocre products and services (perhaps their RDBMS being the sole exception that I know of).

Yeah, this to me is a step backwards. This guy created the company that ruins everything it touches and innovates only slightly faster than the natural course of evolution. He’s as wealthy as he is by sheer ruthlessness, not innovation. He could turn Tesla into the Oracle of electric cars – meaning ten years from now they will building essentially the same 3 vehicles, with only slight improvements to hardware and software, while all spare resources are spent suing every other manufacturer for perceived patent violations – all the while profits keep dwindling and the competition is making them obsolete by innovation.

100% agree. I cant get away from Oracle fast enough.

Lets just hope Larry Ellison, does not bring the oracle license model over to Tesla,
Or you will pay through your nose for every little feature you might want.

But how else do you stifle innovation and maximize short-term profits while setting yourself up for a slow and agonizing decline into obsolescence?

I’ll give him this credit, Oracle has got to be the slowest dying company I’ve ever seen.

I have followed and directly participated with Oracle for many years. It pains me to think of LE on the Tesla board. Pains me and scares me. Do not understand that move in the least. The culture, mission, personality profile is all wrong to me.