Larry Ellison, the world’s highest paid CEO, is stepping down from the Chief Executive Officer position at Oracle, the company he co-founded (with Bob Miner and Ed Oates) in 1977 to do work for the CIA. One of the world’s richest people, Ellison technically only makes $1 a year in salary, but last year his compensation was $78.4 million, due to stock options in Oracle. Ellison is 70. He likes to sail, so he’ll keep busy.
Going forward he’ll also be the executive chairman of the Oracle board. Mark Hurd, the controversial former CEO at Hewlett-Packard, and Safra Catz, will together take over Ellison’s CEO role, becoming co-CEOs. (Note: this almost never works out. Just watch.) Under Ellison, Oracle became one of the most successful technology companies in the world. Oracle’s database software–the company pioneered relational databases for commercial enterprise–is today deeply embedded in many aspects of contemporary computing. Oracle’s rise predates the Internet and then the company became essential in enabling much of the data-driven Internet’s growth.