Besides Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems, and Compaq Computer, another one of Oracle's business partners--albeit it on a smaller scale--is Larry Ellison Incorporated, Oracle's proxy statement showed today.
The proxy also stated that Ellison and company president Ray Lane received less compensation for fiscal 1998 than the previous year, largely because the company's financial results didn't merit any million-dollar bonuses. Lane and chief financial officer Jeff Henley, however, exercised stock rewards worth $6.8 million and $8.4 million, respectively.
As reported, Oracle develops and licenses software that may be used with a computer made by nCube, a maker of supercomputers that is controlled by Ellison. During fiscal 1998, Oracle bought about $13,000 of computer equipment from nCube. Since the end of fiscal 1998, Oracle has placed an order for an additional $565,000 in equipment from nCube.
The proxy also disclosed that Oracle recently has entered into an agreement with MindQ, another company that is controlled by Ellison. The deal allows Oracle to resell some of MindQ's existing software courses, as well as additional products "at its cost," the regulatory filing states. MindQ is a Knowledge Universe company; an Ellison partner in Knowledge Universe is financier Michael Milken.
Then there are the airplanes. "During fiscal year 1998, the company leased two aircraft from Tentacle Corporation and Wing and a Prayer Incorporated, both of which are owned by Mr. Ellison," according to the proxy. "The aggregate amount paid to these entities for use of the aircraft in fiscal year 1998 was $472,980."
The company noted that the expenditures aren't unusual for a multinational corporation like Oracle. "The company believes that the amounts paid for the use of the aircraft and the pilots are within the range charged by third-party commercial charter companies for similar model aircraft," the filing reads.
Proxies require that any company disclose such information, and such executive fringe benefits are by no means limited to Ellison. One example: Microsoft chief executive and fellow billionaire Bill Gates relies on his father's law firm, Preston, Gates, & Ellis, for some legal counsel.
Oracle's proxy also showed that Ellison salary for fiscal year 1998 ($999,987) was "effectively unchanged" from the previous year, but his bonus ($530,000) fell 71 percent. Why? "The decrease reflects the application of the fiscal year 1998 bonus plan to results for fiscal year 1998," the proxy reads.
Translation: The results didn't merit a bonus increase.
The document also shows that neither Ellison nor Lane received any long-term compensation awards for fiscal 1998. Of Oracle's top five executives, two of them--executive vice presidents Robert Shaw and Barry Ariko--have left the company.