Most people have hobbies of some sort. Some people build model cars. Others enjoy knitting. But Larry Ellison owns a very expensive milling machine in New Zealand and uses it to build ships.
On March 22, the Poseidon, a $1 million milling machine (New Zealand’s largest), cut through a red ribbon in celebration of its official opening.
While only recently officially christened, the machine has actually been in use for the last six months. It will be used to construct all the major components of Oracle Racing’s AC72 for the 2013 America’s Cup except for the hull, which, by the rules of the race, must be constructed in the team’s home country (Oracle Racing’s will be constructed in San Francisco). Ellison apparently has plans to keep the machine, which is owned by Ellison’s Core Builders Composites company, running long after the America’s Cup is over. Those close to Ellison have said he’s “pretty passionate” about this manufacturing business and is likely to keep it operating in New Zealand.
Amid pointed comments about Oracle’s earnings call last week, it’s refreshing to see another side of Oracle we rarely encounter.