back to article Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes

When it comes to soundbites, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison is a pro. Reporters show up not just to hear what he says, but how he says it. Bill Gates, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, cloud, yachting, his own phenomenal success – all have been subject to Ellison's barbs and meditations. Scheduled or off-the-cuff, his words turned a …

  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Love him or hate him...

    In everything he's done he's always seemed like a guy who has put his money where his mouth is, so fair play to him.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Love him or hate him...

      seemed like a guy who has put his money where his mouth is, so fair play to him.

      Need a big mouth for that sort of money. Luckily Larry's got both

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Love him or hate him...

        I heard on TWiT today:

        What is the difference between Larry Ellison and God?

        God doesn't think he is Larry Ellison.

        He has ego the size of a planet. I can't say I like the man, but you have to admire his success.

        1. fung0

          Re: Love him or hate him...

          No you don't.

        2. Terry Cloth
          Happy

          God doesn't think he's X

          I first heard this in the 70s about Berlin Philharmonic conductor Herbert von Karajan. Anyone got an earlier citation?

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: God doesn't think he's X

            I don't have an earlier citation (and a Google Books search was unhelpful), but yes, it's a well-aged saw. Google turns up variations for a number of public figures and professions (lawyers, actuaries, fighter pilots, surgeons...).

            It's pretty tired, in any case. The bon is off the mot.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: God doesn't think he's X

              Not earlier, but tangentially related:

              Bernard explains the abbreviations for various Foreign Office honours.

              Bernard: “Of course, in the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God.”

              Hacker: “What about GCMG?”

              Bernard: “God Calls Me God.”

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: God doesn't think he's X

            > I first heard this in the 70s about Berlin Philharmonic conductor

            > Herbert von Karajan. Anyone got an earlier citation?

            What's the difference between Jesus and God?

            God doesn't think he's Jesus...

            So, probably a couple of thousand years ago (not in modern English obviously).

    2. mi1400

      Re: Love him or hate him...

      On the internet, in 1998: If the Internet turns out not to be the future of computing, we're toast. But if it is, we're golden.

      On the Network Computer (NC), which was intended to dislodge the PC, Windows and Microsoft's market dominance (it failed): The NC is clearly part of our strategy to dethrone Microsoft.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Computer

      The failure of the NC: Idea could simply have been ahead of its time, as at the NC's launch in 1996, the typical home Internet connection was only a 28.8 kbit/s modem dialup. This was simply insufficient for the delivery of executable content. The world wide web itself was not considered mainstream until its breakout year, 1998.

      RESULT:

      It was incompetence of Larry himself that he could not make calculations during 1996 and 1998. He himself is proven stupid through his own quotes. If you have seen Wolf Of Wallstreet ,,, "Sell me this pen" .. you make ur product needed by masses to shove down the throat of masses. Larry failed to sell that pen!!! simple as that. Where as MS had only DOS vs GUI of IBM but M$ made u buy that pen!!! simple as that !!!...

      1. airmanchairman

        Re: Love him or hate him...

        Incompetence is the last charge you levy against a CEO who for the entire duration of his leadership kept the 800lb gorillas of IBM (DB2) and Microsoft (SQL Server) at bay, clearly behind his product (even if not by much), as the bespoke data warehousing solution of choice for the Enterprise...

        Oh, and one quotation that was missed out here, by far his best and most hilarious given the jitters it sent down Microsoft's spine at the height of the anti-competitive scrutiny of the US Government:

        "It's Humanity versus Microsoft..."

        Sayonara, Samurai-Sama.

        Question: What do you call the Oracle management after the departure of their long-serving supremo?

        Answer: Ronin...

  2. Crazy Operations Guy

    Very good at what he does

    Its just too bad that what he does is a blight on the internet... Much like Oppenheimer, et al. and the atomic bomb: excellent work, but it all went to the worst things in their fields.

    He's a great CEO, excellent public speaker and has a knack for seeing the direction things are going; its just that is too bad that its been with Oracle and not something that complies with standards and hasn't become a gigantic bloated elephant...

    1. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Very good at what he does

      Harsh @Crazy_Operations_Guy, pretty harsh ...... Robert Oppenheimer had genuine scruples about using the A-bomb. Larry? Not so sure.

      Have an upvote anyway for waking me up.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Very good at what he does

        Robert Oppenheimer did try to poison his lecturer with an apple laced with some toxin... generally though, I'm on his side.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thought Experiment.

    Larry Ellison becomes CEO of Microsoft.

    What happens next?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Thought Experiment.

      Matter and anti-matter don't react well, when they come into contact with each other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thought Experiment.

        Au contraire - I thought that they react far too well, hence the problem?

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Thought Experiment.

          A matter of perspective. ;-)

    2. sisk

      Re: Thought Experiment.

      Apple, Google, and Yahoo! all scream foul and get anti-trust regulators involved. 2 years later, after the investigation determines there's no reason for an investigation, Ellison is finally able to assume the position, at which point he forces the rest of the world to assume the position.

  4. LucreLout

    Last of the titans

    Well, I'll miss old Larry. His products are, in my opinion, shit. But that doesn't matter.

    With Balmer/Gates moving from Developers! Developers! Developers! to Retirement! Retierment! Retirement!, Bob Diamond proving that Diamonds aren't forever, Steve Jobs leaving us for real, and now Ellison hanging up his spurrs, there's really not many CEOs with any character left. Warren Buffet and Michael O'Leary are the only exceptions that spring to mind.

    The current crop are mostly dull, mostly identikit, and mostly out of their depth. So enjoy retirement, CEOs of yesteryear, you'll be missed.... just not for the reasons you might have thought.

    1. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Last of the titans

      Most companies are now leaded by managers, not entrepreneurs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Last of the titans

        "..Most companies are now leaded by managers, not entrepreneurs..."

        A bit different, even more sadly.. Most companies of entrepreneurs are now bought by CEOs.

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    IMHO ...

    ... He was right about Cloud, Leo Appotheker, Open Source.

    But does Bill Gates really think himself to be one of the cleverest men in the USA? I'm not sure that's entirely fair, and I'm not a massive fan (philanthropy aside). Then again, I've never met him ...

    1. Decade
      Boffin

      Bill Gates cleverness

      Bill Gates in the 1980's and 1990's absolutely thought of himself as being clever. I shouldn't be spending time on citing the sources, so I won't...

      Bill Gates claimed that Microsoft was going to beat IBM because Microsoft was run by smart 20-somethings. He wanted to surround himself with more smart 20-somethings when his mind inevitably declined with age. Of course, when he did reach 40, he changed his mind.

      Bill Gates liked people to know about the times he would take a week off to do some intensive reading before announcing major strategies for Microsoft. His most important memo being the Internet memo of 1995.

      The culmination was when he wrote The Road Ahead, which Bill Gates used to try to shape the future of technology. It didn't turn out much like the book.

      I think the real turning point was during the antitrust case, when Bill Gates decided that he was too special to show up in court, but had to deliver his deposition in a video call where he visibly appeared to be dismissive. Though, I wonder if it were not actually very clever, because he managed to enrage the judge so much that the judge was taken off the case.

  6. i like crisps
    Facepalm

    All this dewie-eyedness.....

    ....if you were drowning Messrs Gates and Ellison would throw you an anvil!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All this dewie-eyedness.....

      Will they autograph it?

    2. Tom 13

      Re: All this dewie-eyedness.....

      No they wouldn't. They'd argue with each other about who had the better anvil.

      And when the police finally arrived to investigate the body that washed up on the beach they'd ask "What body?"

    3. dotdavid

      Re: All this dewie-eyedness.....

      "if you were drowning Messrs Gates and Ellison would sell you an anvil!"

      FTFY ;-)

    4. Terry Cloth
      Headmaster

      Alternate grammar

      True fact: when I read this comment, I thought a comma and a letter had been dropped:

      [I]f you were drowning Messrs Gates and Ellison, I would throw you an anvil!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After winning the war with Sun?

    I suspect Larry's been thinking of retirement since winning the war with Sun! He talked up getting Scott McNealy for decades. Once he'd gotten there, what was left. Gates was gone, IBM was a don't care. All his enemies were history.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After winning the war with Sun?

      dead right and even Salesforce once considered his Larriness as the "roach motel" of cloud computing and Oracle are now bedfellows.

      1. airmanchairman

        Re: After winning the war with Sun?

        ... And SAP being caught with their hand in the Oracle cookie-jar and being ordered to pay a billion or more in compensation.

        Victory upon victory upon victory, it must be said of this faithful pal of Steve Jobs.

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