Oracle released its first quarter earnings report last Thursday and it was not good news for founder Larry Ellison's net worth. Between the end of trading on Thursday and noon on Friday Oracle's stock dropped 6.5%. That reduced Oracle's market value by more than $14 billion. It also ate away at more than $3.7 billion through noon on Friday, September 15th. Ellison, as the co-founder and executive chairman, owns 25% of the technology firm's outstanding shares. Ellison remains one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of $58 billion. Suffice it to say, Ellison losing $3.7 billion is a bit like normal people losing $300.
Oracle's quarterly report revealed that earnings were up 14% in the past 12 months. However, the company issued projections for the second quarter that were lower than originally expected. That led to investors dumping Oracle stock in droves. This recent drop in stock value is an anomaly for Oracle. The stock has been performing very well lately – shares are up almost 20% since January. That translates to an overall increase of $12.5 billion for Ellison's net worth since January 1st.
Larry Ellison dropped out of college and headed to Berkeley, California. Over the next eight years, he worked a series of jobs before landing a programmer position at Ampex. While at Ampex, Ellison helped build the first IBM compatible mainframe. In 1977, he and two of his Ampex co-workers left to found Software Development Labs where he was the CEO. Not long after founding SDL, they won a contract to build a relational database management system for the CIA. They called this project Oracle. SDL eventually developed the CIA system for commercial use and called it Oracle. In 1981, just four years after co-founding his own company, IBM chose Oracle to run its mainframes. For the next seven years sales doubled each and every year. When the NASDAQ crashed in 2001, Oracle lost value along with the rest of the technology industry. In the ensuing 16 years, the company has slowly regained its value.
Ellison currently serves as Chief Technology Officer as well as executive chairman. The 73-year-old stepped down as CEO in September 2014.