Larry Ellison Retires
Though the Oracle (ORCL) CEO has shown no signs of slowing down, he is a senior citizen. At 68, Ellison is one of the older CEOs in tech, and it's not like he needs the money. Ellison is sixth on Forbes' billionaire list, with an estimated net worth of $36 billion.
Ellison is so rich, he recently bought his own Hawaiian island, so it's not like he's scrounging pennies to put in the piggy bank. I don't think Ellison is going to step down next year, but I wouldn't be surprised by it either. Perhaps the death of his best friend, Steve Jobs, has got him ruminating about life.
If he does indeed decide to call it quits, my two best guesses are internal choices as his replacement: Oracle co-presidents Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, who joined Oracle in 2005 and 2010, respectively. Ellison said Catz would be his successor "if I dropped dead tomorrow," but he's also said the replacement should be an engineer, neither of which Catz or Hurd are.
Chalk this one up as highly unlikely, but you never say never in this business.
I knew this one was unlikely and said so. That doesn't mean I still don't think Mr. Ellison shouldn't step down, and go buy another Hawaiian island, or hell, some small country in Europe I've never heard of.
I still think Ellison's replacements are co-presidents Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, though I wouldn't not be shocked if Oracle, which is badly losing the cloud computing race to Salesforce.com (CRM), looks outside the company for his replacement.
Grade: (Incomplete. I knew it probably wouldn't happen, but I still put it up there.)