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Oracle founder Larry Ellison quits California for his $300m Hawaii island Lanai - after relocating his Silicon Valley HQ to Texas

 Oracle founder Larry Ellison revealed he has relocated to his Hawaiian island leaving California behind just days after the company announced it was moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas. 

Ellison, 76, who Bloomberg lists as the 11th richest person in the world, told employees on Monday that he will work via Zoom from Lanai, Hawaii's sixth largest island. 

The billionaire, who has a net worth of about $75 billion, owns 98 percent of Lanai and employs the majority of its residents in his resorts and stores after purchasing his majority stake for $300million in 2012. 


On Friday, Oracle Corp., where Ellison was CEO for nearly 40 years, said it will move its headquarters from California to Austin, letting employees choose their office locations and decide on whether they want to work from home.

It came the same week that Tesla founder Elon Musk announced he has moved to Texas and after Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced a move to the state earlier this month.  

Oracle founder Larry Ellison is leaving California, for Lanai, Hawaii, of his he owns 98%

Oracle founder Larry Ellison is leaving California, for Lanai, Hawaii, of his he owns 98%

Ellison did not give an exact reason for the move but is friends with Tesla founder Elon Musk, who recently left California after a row with local officials over COVID-19 restrictions

Ellison did not give an exact reason for the move but is friends with Tesla founder Elon Musk, who recently left California after a row with local officials over COVID-19 restrictions

Ellison employs the majority of Lanai's residents in his resorts, such as the Four Seasons pictured above, after purchasing his majority stake in the island for $300million in 2012

Ellison employs the majority of Lanai's residents in his resorts, such as the Four Seasons pictured above, after purchasing his majority stake in the island for $300million in 2012

Musk had criticized California officials for restrictions designed to limit the coronavirus pandemic.  

Ellison is the second-largest individual shareholder in Tesla - behind Musk - and sits on the company's board. He and Musk are also friends. 

When Oracle announced the decision to move on Friday, the business software maker said it will keep major hubs at its current home in Redwood City, California, and other locations.

It had called California home since 1977 and Ellison made his fortune there.  

Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison, pictured above, is also the second-largest individual shareholder in Tesla

Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison, pictured above, is also the second-largest individual shareholder in Tesla

'We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work,' the company said in a regulatory filing.

'Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part time or all the time.'   

Ellison had been questioned if he would also be moving to Texas with the company. Despite stepping down as CEO in 2014, he still owns a 35.4 percent stake.

In a company-wide note on Monday afternoon, Ellison disclosed that he would not be following his company to the Lone Star State, according to Recode. 

'Following Friday’s announcement ... I’ve received a number of inquiries about whether or not I will be moving to Texas,' Ellison wrote. 

'The answer is no. I’ve moved to the state of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai,' he concluded, signing off the email with  'Mahalo', which means 'thanks'. 

Ellison has not outlined the reasoning behind his move from California to become Hawaii's richest resident by far. 


Unlike Musk, he has not directly spoken out against the COVID-19 restrictions but he has emerged in recent years as a rare Silicon Valley ally to President Donald Trump.  

Since purchasing the majority of the island eight years ago, Ellison has attempted to turn Lanai into an environmental and agricultural utopia, opening up a wellness company called Sensei. 

Fortune reports that the 140 square-mile island and its residents are 'almost entirely reliant on Ellison' with his two resorts alone employing a quarter of its 3,000 people. 

As well as the resorts, Ellison also owns the main grocery store and monthly newspaper. The island has only one school and no stop lights. 

It recent weeks, Lanai had to grapple with a further wave of coronavirus infections. However, there have been no new infections since November 5. 

Prior to his recent move, residents said that it was rarely known when Ellison was on the island. 

'Nobody knows what his schedule is,' Alberta de Jetley, who sold the newspaper to Ellison, told Bloomberg. 

'He comes in on his private plane and he’s here and then he’s gone. Nobody, except for the people who actually work at the airport, know when he’s coming and going.'

Since purchasing the majority of the island in 2012, Ellison has attempted to turn Lanai into an environmental and agricultural utopia, opening up a wellness company called Sensei, pictured

Since purchasing the majority of the island in 2012, Ellison has attempted to turn Lanai into an environmental and agricultural utopia, opening up a wellness company called Sensei, pictured

Ellison is rarely seen in Lanai, pictured, which has only 3,000 residents

Ellison is rarely seen in Lanai, pictured, which has only 3,000 residents

Ellison has been known as one of the world's most avid collectors of real estate, according to Forbes

In 2004, he constructed the $200 million Ellison Estate in Woodside, California, which includes ten buildings, a man made lake, a tea house, a bath house and a koi pond. The 23-acre estate is based on Japanese design. 

The billionaire also purchased a $3.9 million home in San Francisco’s swanky Pacific Heights neighborhood in 1988, the Epiphany Hotel in Palo Alto for $71.6 million in 2015, and owns two dozen properties in Malibu. 

At least 10 of these are located on a stretch of Carbon Beach known as 'Billionaire’s Beach' and he is believed to have spent between $200 and $250 million on each one.  

He previously told CNBC that he continues to buy up the lavish properties as he was using them 'to start these art museums that are basically converted homes'.  

Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly boasted about Oracle's decision to move to his state Friday.

'Oracle just announced they have moved their headquarters to Austin,' Abbott tweeted. 

'Texas is truly the land of business, jobs, and opportunity. We will continue to attract the very best.'

Texas has long targeted companies in high-cost California for relocation. 

And Austin, in particular, has been attracting tech firms as home to the South by Southwest Festival, which has an 'interactive' portion devoted to internet innovations. 

This month, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of the early companies in Silicon Valley, said it will move to the Houston area and build a campus with two five-story buildings by 2022. 

'HPE's largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus,' the company said in a statement.

'The Bay Area will continue to be a strategic hub for HPE innovation, and the company will consolidate a number of sites in the Bay Area to its San Jose campus. 

'No layoffs are associated with this move.' 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced a move to Texas earlier this month
Tesla founder Elon Musk announced that he has moved to Austin this week

The Oracle move comes the same week that Tesla (pictured right) founder Elon Musk announced that he has moved to Austin after a run-in with California officials and after Hewlett Packard Enterprise (pictured left) also announced a move to Texas earlier this month

Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly boasted about Oracle's decision on Twitter, pictured

Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly boasted about Oracle's decision on Twitter, pictured

And, entrepreneur Elon Musk also confirmed his move to Texas this week.

The Tesla co-founder and chief executive left California after a heated squabble earlier this year with local authorities, who ordered one of his auto factories closed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Musk lashed out at California leaders including Gov. Newsom and Alameda County officials when shutdowns stopped production at his company's factories in Fremont.

Musk defied the health order and reopened early, slamming the regulations as 'fascist' during a shocking April earnings call saying, 'Give people back their goddamn freedom.' 

After this he is reported to have begun cozying up to Gov. Abbott. 

Tesla co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk, pictured above, left California after a heated squabble earlier this year with local authorities, who ordered one of his auto factories closed to stop the spread of COVID

Tesla co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk, pictured above, left California after a heated squabble earlier this year with local authorities, who ordered one of his auto factories closed to stop the spread of COVID

Texas also offers a lower cost of living and no state income tax, both of which may appeal Oracle as well as South Africa-born Musk, 49, who overtook Bill Gates to become the world's second-wealthiest person last month as Tesla stock reached ever-greater heights.

Musk justified the move by saying he needed to be closer to two of his biggest projects: the development of rockets by his company SpaceX in the southern part of the state, and construction of a Tesla automobile plant near state capital Austin.'   

Yet he added in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that California had also become 'complacent' when it comes to innovation.

'They do tend to get a little complacent, a little entitled, and then they don't win the championship anymore,' he told the publication. 

Musk claimed that California - and, in particular, Silicon Valley - 'has been winning for a long time'.

'I think they're taking it [winning] for granted a little bit,' he stated. 

For the time being, both Tesla and SpaceX remain headquartered in California. It is unclear whether Musk will officially move both businesses to Texas at a later date. 

Musk did not reveal whereabouts in the Lone Star State he has moved to. It's also unclear whether he will purchase any property there, given that he stated earlier this year that he wants to rid himself of possessions and is only interesting in renting. 

Over the summer, the Musk Foundation officially consolidated its headquarters in Austin. 

However, Musk is also known to spend time in Boca Chica, on the southeast coast of the state, where there is a SpaceX facility. 

In 2018, Toyota also shifted its U.S. headquarters from Southern California, to Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb. 

Oracle's stocks continued to climb after Ellison's announcement, as picture above

Oracle's stocks continued to climb after Ellison's announcement, as picture above

In its most recent fiscal year, which ended May 31, Oracle reported earnings of $10.1 billion on revenue of about $39 billion. Its stocks have risen steadily throughout the year

In its most recent fiscal year, which ended May 31, Oracle reported earnings of $10.1 billion on revenue of about $39 billion. 

After its stocks climbed dramatically on Friday morning, they continued to climb upward after the relocation announcement in the afternoon. 

They rose even further through Monday and Tuesday after Ellison's own announcement and were close to 461.82 as of Tuesday afternoon. They had started to year at $53.95.  

The company was founded in Santa Clara, California, in 1977 and as of May 31, employed about 135,000 people.

Oracle has offices in an array of US cities, including Austin.

Word of Oracle's move comes as internet firms that have been letting workers do their jobs remotely due to the pandemic embrace the practice, which frees them to hire people who live far from offices and leaves companies less tethered to Silicon Valley campuses.

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