Tech summit in Colorado banks on Ellison

Owens hopes Oracle CEO will lift meeting

Friday, July 19, 2002 – Colorado’s ailing technology economy
could use a bit of encouragement these days. Gov. Bill Owens
hopes people will find it in Larry Ellison.

By Jennifer Beauprez
Denver Post Business Writer

The charismatic chief executive of Oracle Corp. will headline
Owens’ annual Technology Summit today and will talk about his
vision of the future of technology. About 3,000 people are
expected to attend the summit, held at the Colorado Convention
Center ballroom from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the

"Ellison is by far the most charismatic CEO in the tech space and
among the most visionary," said Robert Austrian, an analyst
who has followed Oracle for years. "Count on him to be

Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, will be the other
keynote speaker at the event. The No. 2 official in the Defense
Department will likely discuss Colorado’s role in the nation’s war
on defense, since Colorado Springs was recently picked to be
the base for the U.S. military’s homeland defense operations.

Other key topics will be biotech – which offers high hopes for
economic development officials – and securing venture capital
financing despite the economy. Bravo Networks’ Alberto Vilar,
who owns a home in Vail and has given $250 million to artistic
charities, will sit on the venture capital panel.

Marc Holtzman, the governor’s secretary of technology, said the
governor asked Ellison to be the keynote because the CEO
thinks 10 to 30 years into the future. "There are only two or
three people on the planet who have done what he has done for
the technology economy," Holtzman said.

Ellison started Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle in 1977 and
turned it into the second-largest software company in the world.
Along the way, he developed a reputation as a hard-driving,
flamboyant playboy who fancied racing yachts and flying
airplanes. He was the fifth-richest person in the world in 2001,
with a net worth of $21.9 billion.

Ellison, 57, also revels in his role as chief antagonist of
Microsoft. He once paid investigators to rifle through Microsoft
garbage, according to Forbes magazine.

"He is a Silicon Valley legend," said Alex Mou, an analyst with
Hotovec Pomeranz & Co. in California. "He’s very outspoken and
flamboyant but a very solid businessman."

Oracle’s stock price has sunk to $10 a share, compared with the
$50 price of two years ago.

Still, most people expect Oracle to survive the economic storm
because the company has been around for so long. The
company has battled downturns in the market during the 1980s
and again in the early 1990s, Mou said.

"On one hand, they’re coming off one of the most difficult two to
three years in recent memory; however, they’ve become more
profitable despite this," Austrian said. "So it’s a tale of two

Oracle is one of the most profitable companies in America, with
45 percent operating margins. During the fiscal year ending in
May, the company booked a $2.2 billion profit. The company also
has $5.8 billion in cash in the bank.

The company secured its lofty position with an aggressive sales
force that made it a leader in relational database business. Its
database program is the chief platform on which many other
software programs run.

"Ellison has been through a lot of ups and down, and by and
large people think he’s pretty smart," Mou said. "He’s been
known as a survivor. He has always come out stronger.",1413,36%257E33%257E740625%257E,00.html

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