It’s All Gravy For Oracle’s Ellison

Oracle CEO and multi-billionaire Larry Ellison wrapped up what was, perhaps, the most important week of his company’s year by selling off another 1 million shares of Oracle stock.

According to a Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ellison sold the shares as part of a prearranged trading plan on Friday, one day after Oracle’s OpenWorld conference concluded in San Francisco.

The shares were sold for $20.68 a share, netting Forbes‘s No. 11 wealthiest person in the world another $20 million and change. His net worth was estimated at roughly $21.5 billion.

Oracle last week unveiled a series of new products to more than 43,000 OpenWorld attendees, including Oracle VM, the company’s first virtualization software offering.

On Wednesday, IT consulting and research firm Saugatuck Technology issued a report suggesting Oracle and other virtualization software vendors still have plenty of time to gain ground on industry leader and Wall Street darling VMware.

“Easier management of virtual infrastructures is critical to broader and accelerated adoption of virtualization,” analyst Charlie Burns wrote in the report. “Oracle offers single-source support which addresses some of the challenges of problem management when running Oracle on Linux in a virtual server.”

Oracle VM will support Linux and Windows servers and is based on the Xen open source hypervisor. Oracle, which isn’t charging for the software but plans to sell service contracts for updates, bug fixes and other support for either $499 or $999 a year, has tacked on a Web-based management console for server administrators to easily migrate and manage applications and operating systems running on both virtual and physical servers.

Oracle shares dipped 32 cents, or 2 percent, to $20.37 a share in Wednesday trading. The stock has fluctuated between $15.97 a share and $23 a share in the past 12 months.

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