"It's my job for Oracle -- the number two software in the company in the world -- to become the number one software company in the world. My job, is to build better than the competition, sell those products in the marketplace, and eventually supplant Microsoft and move from being number two to number one."
When Larry Ellison first expressed these goals for his comany, more than a few people thought his ambition laughable. Oracle led the software pack in relational database technology, but many observers saw this as a mere niche market in the industry, while mighty Microsoft provided the operating systems and office software in the coveted personal computer sector.
By the year 2000, Larry Ellison had drawn within reach of his goal. In a single quarter, the company's net profits increased by an astounding 76 percent. As the value of Microsoft and other high tech stocks fluctuated wildly, Oracle not only maintained its value, but gained, and Larry Ellison had drawn very close to his rival Bill Gates in rankings of the world's richest men. His strategic acquisitions of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and Sun Microsystems have made Oracle the world's leader in business software.