Oracle’s billionaire cofounder Larry Ellison hit centibillionaire status for the first time after shares of his software company rose on Thursday.
Oracle stock rose up to 1.8% as of 3:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, pushing Ellison’s net worth up by $1.8 billion, to $100 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. The stock then pared back gains slightly, lowering Ellison’s net worth to $99.8 billion by market close. He remains the sixth-richest person on the planet, less than $15 billion behind the world’s fifth-richest, Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Ellison is chairman and chief technology officer of software giant Oracle, which he cofounded in 1977. The tech billionaire also served as Oracle CEO for 37 years before relinquishing the post in 2014. The majority of his fortune comes from his stake in the firm—he owns around 35%, according to company filings.
Shares of Oracle have jumped by around 10% over the last two weeks, adding billions of dollars to Ellison’s net worth. The stock even held steady despite Oracle’s recent loss in its decades-long legal battle with Google. (The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 5, 2021 that Google didn’t violate copyright law when it used parts of Oracle’s Java programming code to build its Android operating system.) Investors have been increasingly optimistic about Oracle’s growing cloud business, seeing it as an emerging competitor to established heavyweights in that space, such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
The software mogul was briefly the world’s sixth centibillionaire, joining a high-powered cohort that includes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Facebook’s Zuckerberg. Musk was the most recent member of the $100 billion club to have joined, doing so in August 2020 as shares of his electric car company, Tesla, surged.
Besides Ellison, there are three other high-profile figures who are on the cusp of joining the centibillionaire club. Famed investor Warren Buffett, known as ‘the Oracle of Omaha,’ is the planet’s seventh richest person, with a net worth of $99.6 billion, according to Forbes. (He passed the $100 billion mark in March 2021 but shares of Berkshire Hathaway soon fell.) Right behind Buffett in the rankings is Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who are worth $97.8 billion and $94.8 billion, respectively.