Larry Ellison, the CEO of
interviewed in the San Jose Mercury News last
week, and we would like to thank Macworld UK for
pointing us to the interview. The interview
deals a lot with Larry's outlook on life, his near-death experience while
captaining a racing yacht in a hurricane, and the stories that abound about him.
The interviewer, Peter Delevett, also asks him about Steve Jobs and the
relationship he has with him. From the interview:
Q Another person who has a
certain mythology about him is your friend Steve Jobs. Everybody seems to
believe they know the book on Jobs: he's brilliant but hard-driving, overly
sensitive. Do you and he ever talk about that?
A We almost decided to wear
T-shirts: "The Mercurial Steve Jobs" and "The Arrogant Larry Ellison."
Steve Jobs is my best
friend, and I love him dearly, and he's one of the most remarkable people on
this planet. You watch him create Apple, then in one of the worst
human-resources mistakes in the history of Silicon Valley -- the only thing
worse was when the French fired Napoleon -- they fire Steve Jobs and Apple
almost completely disintegrates. Then he comes back and he saves a company
that was on life support.
I never see this quoted
about Steve, but they once asked Andy Grove who he most admired in the PC
industry, and he said, "One guy: Steve Jobs. He invented the PC industry."
You know, we live in a very
egalitarian world. We don't like heroes. And Steve is one of these heroic guys
whose accomplishments are of such epic proportions, and it gnaws away at our
egalitarian sense of the world.
The rest of the interview is
also extremely interesting, and includes a few questions dealing with Mr.
Ellison's thoughts on Bill Gates and his drive to make Oracle a bigger company
than Microsoft. We recommend it as a very good read.
We have often learned more about Steve Jobs and
Apple from Mr. Ellison than we have from either Steve Jobs or Apple. This was
especially true during the months before and after Mr. Jobs took Apple back
over. This may not be one of those times, but we found Mr. Ellison's comments to
be very poignant and a clear indication of how much he looks up to Steve Jobs.