Why Larry Ellison is good for sailing

Published on April 30th, 2014

It’s popular to state how sailing needs to appeal to grass roots, and squash the elitist stigma. People think sailing is expensive, what with its yachts, private clubs, and formal dress. How do you market a recreation which is perceived for only the one percent?

Yes, perception is a problem, but sailing wouldn’t be sailing without the insanely rich. Sharing the water, wind, and recreation with the upper class raises the profile of sailing. It gets attention as a result of people who can do whatever they wish.

All this leads us to Larry Ellison – the holder of the America’s Cup. Among the most influential people in the world, he’s estimated to be the fifth richest man in the world. His persona is a magnet for attention…. and he likes sailing.

Why does Larry Ellison turn heads? Here is what Business Insider determined to be the 11 outrageous things Ellison has taught the world:

College degree not required: Ellison certainly isn’t the only billionaire college dropout to find success in Silicon Valley but he was one of the first.

Never retire: In just a couple of months, Ellison will turn 70. He is the longest-running founder CEO the tech industry has ever seen. He’s held the CEO role at Oracle since 1977.

A competitive spirit is the greatest motivator: Ask Ellison why he still comes to work every day — what drives him after all he’s achieved — and he’ll tell you the same answer: he loves to compete.

Be greedy: Ellison, worth an estimated $US49.5 billion, is the fifth richest man in the world, reports Forbes.

Be generous: Ellison has been called a closet philanthropist. Unlike other billionaires such as Bill Gates, he doesn’t talk much about his philanthropic efforts, though he’s focused on medical research and green energy.

If you’ve got it, spend it: Ellison spends big money as easily as he makes it. He’s got mansions, a private golf course, tennis tournaments and yachts. He collects airplanes, cars and art. He even owns two airlines and a Hawaiian island.

Know how to break the rules: Ellison doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but his own. The latest biggest example was the 2013 America’s Cup.

Enjoy some smack talk: Before Ellison, corporate CEOs were a mostly stodgy bunch who didn’t publicly slam their competitors. Ellison raised corporate smack talk to a new level.

Never stop growing: Ellison drove Oracle to be the world’s biggest provider of database software, and then moved on to dominate the business software industry, conducting one of the nastiest hostile takeovers in tech history to do it.

Be a visionary: Ellison is known as one of the tech industry’s leading visionaries. He was even instrumental in inventing the area of cloud computing known as software-as-a-service, providing seed funding for Salesforce.com and NetSuite.

Geeks can be bad boys, or superheros: Ellison is the original ‘bad boy’ geek, a daring adventurer who dates models, and races fast vehicles on land, air and water. Ellison was said to be the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, the bad boy billionaire in the ‘Iron Man’ movies, CNBC reports.

Source: Business Insider

Editor’s note: Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison will join together in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA’s board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, Geffen told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on Wednesday. Sailing and Basketball? Sounds like a step toward diversity…

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