Apple doomed without Steve Jobs: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
'He's irreplaceable': Larry Ellison on Steve Jobs at Apple. Photo: Reuters
In an interview that will do nothing to erase his reputation as one of the most controversial chief executives in Silicon Valley, Oracle's Larry Ellison says Apple is lost without its late co-founder Steve Jobs.
During an interview with Charlie Rose on US morning show CBS This Morning, Ellison spoke fondly of his close friend Steve Jobs.
"He was brilliant. I mean, our Edison. He was our Picasso. He was an incredible inventor."
When asked what will become of Apple without Jobs, Ellison explained that we had already seen what Apple without Jobs looked like in the 1980s and '90s when he was not part of the company.
"He's irreplaceable," said Ellison. "They will not be nearly so successful because he's gone."
"We saw Apple with Steve Jobs," said Ellison as he pointed his finger high into the air. "We saw Apple without Steve Jobs," he continued as he lowered his finger.
"We saw Apple with Steve Jobs," said Ellison as he raised his finger again. "Now, we're gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs," he said as he dropped his finger again.
Ellison also took some pot-shots at Google and labelled the US government's digital surveillance programs as "essential".
Oracle is suing Google over its use of the programming language Java in its Android operating system.
"We don't compete with Google," Ellison said. "We don't do anything Google does. We just think they took our stuff and ... that was wrong."
He also singled out Google CEO Larry Page. When asked if what Page had done was evil, he responded: "No, it makes what he did evil, which is quite different. And I know his slogan is, 'Don't be evil'."
On the topic of the US National Security Agency's surveillance programs, Ellison managed to find a position that seems in contrast to most tech leaders, who have been widely critical of government spying.
"We've been collecting this information for so long – long before NSA was collecting it," he said. "Let me tell you who was collecting it: American Express, Visa, all of your credit card data, all of your financial records. This whole issue of privacy is utterly fascinating to me. Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?"
Ellison said it's something people have to live with if they want to be safe.
"It's essential if you want to minimise the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."
Finally, Ellison discussed Jobs' final days. The pair would go for walks on a regular basis that grew shorter over time.
"This was absolutely the strongest, most wilful person I have ever met," Ellison said. "And after seven years, the cancer even wore him out. And that was what it was. He was just tired of fighting. Tired of the pain. And he decided, shocked Lorraine, shocked everybody that the medication was gonna stop. He just pulled off the meds – I think on a Saturday or a Sunday. And by the following Wednesday, he was gone."
Los Angeles Times