Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison said he has moved his primary residence to Hawaii, becoming the latest Silicon Valley executive to depart the state where they built their fortunes.
Ellison, the world’s 11th-wealthiest person, notified his staff Monday of the move. Recode first reported the executive’s decision, which followed Oracle’s announcement Friday that it had shifted the company’s headquarters to Austin, Texas, from Redwood City, California.
“I’ve received a number of inquiries about whether or not I will be moving to Texas,” Ellison wrote in a memo to Oracle’s employees. “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. Mahalo, Larry.”
Ellison, 76, who has a net worth of about $75 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, owns 98% of Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth largest island that’s mostly made up of Ellison’s luxury hotels and resorts. Ellison is the main employer of Lanai’s 3,000 residents. In addition to his three hotels, he also owns a significant chunk of the housing stock as well as the main grocery store and the monthly newspaper there.
The Oracle chairman joins other tech leaders and ultra-wealthy in leaving California, with some pointing to the state’s high taxes. Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, a friend of Ellison’s, said last week that he had left California for Texas. Splunk Inc. CEO Doug Merritt also reportedly moved to the Austin area. Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, had called Silicon Valley home since the company’s 1977 founding.
Despite Lanai being such a small island — with only one school and no stoplights — residents rarely see Ellison around town, though that may change now that he’s officially moved there.
“Nobody knows what his schedule is,” said Alberta de Jetley, a longtime resident of the island and founder of Lanai Today, the island’s monthly newspaper, which she sold to Ellison in 2019. “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.”