Marc Benioff is not buying a private island even though, like rival Larry Ellison, apparently, he finds the need to head out to tropical destinations like Hawaii to recharge. He says that running high-growth companies can lead to burnout, and he needs time to “rebirth.” Ellison, if you recall, bought Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth largest island, for $500 million earlier this year.
“Well, won’t that make vacations awkward?”, interviewer Mike Arrington, TechCrunch founder, wanted to know. “As long as he’s not on the island I’m on, that’s OK with me,” said Benioff.
The rivalry between the two is long running. Last fall, Ellison canceled Benioff’s keynote at Oracle’s Openworld, leading Benioff to capitalize on the attention arising from that to his own advantage. “Normally, no one would have cared what I had to say today”, he said at the time, “but because of the traction the cancellation was able to garner last night on blogs, Facebook, Twitter et al, many more people are paying attention to this than might have otherwise.” (He later gave the keynote from a nearby restaurant). Feuds, I tell you, feuds!
Here at TechCrunch, our enterprise reporter Alex Williams has been famously tough on Oracle’s cloud strategies, calling out Oracle for its cloudwashing numerous times:
I have been critiquing Oracle for some time about its cloudwashing, the way the company has acted in the open source community and Larry Ellison’s general bombastic antics. The consistent critique from the industry overall has had its effects. Oracle is a company that is trying to distract the market from some considerable flaws in its long-term strategy. The cloud is important for Oracle but only because the company has to make it sound like they actually have something there. They are not seen as a significant player. Yes, it has Fusion, what it calls cloud-based apps. But it is all tied to on-premise and thus the almighty Oracle database.
Benioff also relayed some amusing anecdotes about his vacations, which sound like they could be a new Tumblr blog called: “shit rich people do on vacation.” One such example: jumping off a 60 foot bridge in a wetsuit into a raging river below. Some sort of Tony Robbins seminar about facing your fears, he explained. This is how Benioff recharges? Wow, who feels guilty about sipping pina coladas poolside now?