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What To Do With $100M?

4:15 PM -- With all the billions flying around this week -- Warren and Bill, then EMC and RSA -- you might have missed the bit about how Larry Ellison cancelled a planned donation of $115 million to Harvard. Some reports said he was miffed about the school pressuring chancellor Lawrence Summers to quit, but others said Ellison cancelled the donation well before Summers resigned.
Now, I've never met Ellison, but he doesn't strike me as the sort that's easily pitied, or that would welcome a hug and a consoling "Geez, Lar... tough break."

Recall, though, that Ellison also agreed to make a $100 million charitable donation to settle a civil complaint stemming from a $900 million profit he made on Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) shares right before they tanked in 2001. The first installment on that penalty was made this week -- which got me to wondering how much that had to do with his reneging on Harvard.

Then again, perhaps Larry is just stumped about the best place to rest his cool millions. Since I've never been afraid to live outside my means, I devised a short list of what $100 million buys these days. Maybe Larry would consider one of these options:

  • 6.75 million shares of Oracle stock. We're guessing Ellison already has plenty.
  • 1 million of those $100 laptops? Nothing screams "benevolence" louder than laptops for those stricken by famine and genocide.
  • Some nice complement to the Oracle portfolio. Snap Appliance and IntruVert both reached $100 million revenues in the last couple years. Then again, Larry's got plenty tied up in Pillar already. (See Mike Workman, CEO, Pillar Data Systems.)
  • Forget adding to the Malibu compound. Just go nuts with some sweet nothings to fill these summer afternoons.

Actually, rumor has it the Oracle exec has already made his choice. That $100 million's going to the Ellison Medical Foundation.

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