REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- As evidenced by his headline-grabbing appearance at Oracle's (ORCL - Get Report) recent courtroom battle with SAP (ORCL - Get Report), Larry Ellison never misses an opportunity to publicly trash the opposition.
|Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle|
Brash and belligerent, with a penchant for sportscars, planes and yachts, Ellison is undoubtedly one of the most colorful figures in Silicon Valley, as tech peers Google (GOOG) and IBM (HPQ - Get Report) -- two of his past targets -- can attest. The outspoken, hard-charging 66-year old is even the subject of a biography, The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison.
Nonetheless, Ellison is a divisive figure. Some experts have warned that his confrontational style may be counter productive in the long-term, but others say that this is key to both his own and his company's success. Forbes rates Ellison as the sixth-richest person in the world with a fortune of $27 billion.Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University and author of Power: Why Some People Have It -- And Others Don't, told TheStreet that Ellison's approach runs counter to current business thinking, which he describes as the "Kumbaya" theory of leadership. "There is all this stuff about how you have to be nice and kind, but if you look, not just at Larry Ellison, but at a lot of other people, including some very successful politicians, you find that is not always the case," he said. "