Eye on Oracle

Feb 27 2012   8:16PM GMT

Larry Ellison — Philanthropist?

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

When you think of philanthropic CEOs, who crosses your mind? Bill and Melinda Gates? Sir Richard Branson? Mark Zuckerberg, perhaps? Larry Ellison usually doesn’t even register. Equities.com has released their list of the five most charitable CEOs in America. Much to the surprise of many, on the list was Larry Ellison.

“Firmly a member of the 1 percent, Larry Ellison’s passions include yachting, driving his exotic cars, and flying his private jets… However, before you grab the torches and pitchforks, know that Ellison has pledged or donated over $800 million to charity over the course of his life,” the article reads.

In 2010, Larry Ellison became one of the 40 billionaires to sign Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge. On the Giving Pledge’s website, Ellison writes that virtually all of his assets are in a special trust, and that he plans to one day give away 95% of his wealth to charitable causes.

Is Ellison’s pledge for real, or just a publicity stunt? Does Ellison have a secret philanthropic side that just happens to clash horribly with his public image? It’s tough to say, but something to keep in mind is that the man in question is a person with an estimated net worth of $28 billion — $800 million, while still a hefty sum, may not be the sacrifice to Larry Ellison that it would be to us mere financial mortals.

Still, sometimes credit is due where credit is due — as bombastic as Ellison may be, it seems he is committing his share of good deeds.

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