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Oracle's Ellison Causing His Accountant to Lose Sleep

CEO's Personal Spending Outlined in Court Documents

In a podcast filed by this author recently, I noted that Big Technology executives have now reached the "status" of rock stars, Hollywood stars, and athletes--their personal lifes and eccentricities are being covered as much as their business strategies, and they will soon have to worry about paparazzi, no doubt.

This is not a major revelation. Execs such as Bill Gates and Larry Ellison (pictured) have been "A-minus List" celebs for some time now. And Ellison has long been a topic of gossipy conversation in the Bay Area, with stories of his Japanese-style estate, his battles with the San Jose airport over late-night personal jet landings, and his many marriages often in the news.

Ellison has even appeared on Oprah (talking about his "network computer" vision), although the technical depth of her discussion with him is probably not one of his more cherished memories.

But an emphasis on the personal lifestyle over the business vision of tech executives seems to be emerging. Ellison has just made the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, for example, in a report by reporter Carrie Kirby that outlines the concerns of Ellison's personal accountant over The Man's personal spending habits.

The Chronicle report is based on documents that were recently unsealed by San Mateo Superior Court Judge John Schwartz (no, not Jonathan Schwartz), regarding a well-known shareholder lawsuit that Ellison settled last November when he agrred to donate $100 million to charity (and pay his lawyers additional millions) out of his own pocket.

The released documents contain e-mails written by Philip Simon, described as Ellison's financial adviser, in which the beancounter evinces the classic Nervous Nellie viewpoint familiar to entrepreneur who has ever started and run a business. The difference is that in Ellison's case, there are often several more zeroes at the ends of the numbers being discussed.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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