The optimism around artificial intelligence boosted both Oracle Corp.’s stock — and founder Larry Ellison’s net worth — to record highs Monday.
Ellison, 78, passed Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates to become the world’s fourth-richest person, with a net worth of $129.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It’s the first time that Ellison is richer than Gates, whose net worth is currently $129.1 billion, and the first time Ellison has ranked higher than fifth on the list, according to Bloomberg data.
Investor interest in AI and a broader tech rally have been a tailwind to Oracle’s stock, which has climbed 42% this year and reached a record high of $116.43 on Monday ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings. On Monday, Wolfe Research upgraded it to outperform, citing Oracle’s plans to develop its own partnership with startup Cohere to challenge the alliance between Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI.
Ellison’s net worth has risen almost $38 billion this year while Gates’ has increased $19.9 billion, though that amount has been muted by his charitable giving to nonprofits.
Much of Ellison’s fortune comprises Oracle shares, along with his $11 billion stake in electric automaker Tesla Inc. He has sold more than $12 billion of Oracle stock since 2003 and is known for a lavish lifestyle involving private planes, America’s Cup sailing teams and trophy properties including the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
He’s not the only tech founder to benefit from the AI boom. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page added $18 billion to their collective fortunes after the company’s developer conference in May, their best week since 2021. Nvidia Corp. co-founder Jensen Huang, meanwhile, has seen his wealth more than double in 2023, making him the biggest gainer on Bloomberg’s index of the world’s 500 richest people.