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Ellison Donates to Foundation in Settlement

June 27, 2006|From the Associated Press

Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison has settled an insider-trading lawsuit by making the first payment of a $100-million donation, plaintiffs' lawyers said Monday.

The new funding for the Ellison Medical Foundation, which the software magnate launched, comes amid a suddenly energized philanthropic movement led by the world's two richest men, Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett. On Sunday, Buffett announced that he would leave most of his roughly $42 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The decision came on the heels of Gates' revelation that he would give up day-to-day oversight of Microsoft Corp. in 2008 to concentrate on philanthropy.

Ellison's donation is the result of an unusual legal settlement of a civil complaint that revolves around a $900-million gain he accrued by selling some of his Oracle stock shortly before the company's shares plummeted in 2001. Aggrieved shareholders of Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle sued the billionaire two years ago.

Ellison denied wrongdoing but agreed to donate $100 million to charity in Oracle's name and pay $22 million to 13 law firms that represented shareholders in the San Mateo County Superior Court lawsuit. The Silicon Valley tycoon's court-mandated largesse comes as Harvard University officials cut staff of the planned Ellison Institute for World Health amid concerns that Ellison is reneging on a $115-million pledge to the school.

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