The World’s Richest CEOs

3. Lawrence J. Ellison, 67 Company: Oracle  Net worth: $35 billion  2011 compensation: $77.6 million   As the co-founder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison is also the sixth richest person in the world and the third wealthiest in the U.S., according to Forbes.   Ellison co-founded Oracle under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. The company picked up a contract with the CIA in the same year to build a database program code-named "Oracle." In 1980, the firm had only eight employees and turnover of less than $1 million, but after IBM adopted Oracle’s mainframe systems the following year, its sales doubled every year for the next seven. Since then, Oracle has grown to over 380,000 customers and is the third-largest software company based on revenues behind IBM and Microsoft.   Ellison’s stake in Oracle is estimated to be about $32.8 billion, according to Wealth-X. A sailing enthusiast, his yacht Rising Sun is one of the largest privately owned vessels in the world, worth an estimated $200 million.   In 2009, Ellison also bought the Indian Wells ATP tennis championship event, the BNP Paribas Open , for $100 million. Other notable assets include his Japanese-style home in California valued at $70 million.   Ellison has consistently topped the list of the world’s highest paid CEOs in the past decade. In 2009, he was the highest paid CEO with compensation totaling $84.5 million . Despite his growing wealth, Ellison is also known for his philanthropy. In 2010 he joined the “Giving Pledge” — a campaign by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to give away at least half of his fortune to charity.  Photo: Getty Images

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