If there is a word that sums up Oracle at the moment, that word must be ‘success’. First this week comes the news that Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison is the highest paid CEO of the decade. The big cheese of the software giant pulled down $1.84 billion, beating Internet tycoon Barry Diller into second place.
Ellison has 23% shares in Oracle, which he founded in 1977. In the ten years up to 31st May 2009, Oracle made a staggering $98 billion, up from $36 billion at the start of the decade. Eye-watering indeed.
So, where does a company go from huge salaries and huge profits? Huge acquisitions, of course. There appear to be mixed messages on this one, however. Earlier this week, Oracle president Charles Phillips confused reporters when he said that the company was planning to splash out on a $70 billion shopping spree, buying up other companies, between now and 2015. This would be a massive leap, even considering Oracle’s $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems in January this year.
Phillips revealed the plan at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in Aspen, Colorado. He said: “If you look forward for the next five years, we’ll probably double what we’ve spent on acquisitions in the last five years.” Seeing as Oracle spent $35 billion on acquisitions in the past five years, a quick bit of maths shows that Oracle are looking at $70 billion.
Over the past five years, Oracle has spent around $35 billion on acquisitions. Phillips, however, was mistaken, boasting, imprudent, or just a bit shaky on his multiplication, according to a statement issued by Oracle later. In this statement, a spokesperson said that the acquisition budget quoted by Phillips was “highly unlikely,” but that it would consider making acquisitions “if market conditions warrant.” Which, here at Inatech, we think will be the case. Whether Phillips was wrong or exaggerating, it is likely that Oracle in 2015 will be even bigger and better than ever.