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Larry Ellison is about to achieve his life's ambition – he's about to overtake Bill Gates as the world's richest man. With Microsoft's shares now around half their value of four weeks ago, Gates – once described as the 'PC Pope' by Ellison – has seen his personal worth drop from $90 billion to a piffling $49 billion. The Oracle boss, on the other hand, is now just a whisker behind, being valued at $48 billion thanks to his shares rising by well over 500 per cent. Thanks to his jet setting lifestyle, Larry is sometimes known as Elvis due to his propensity for popping up in upmarket holiday spots around the globe. Author Mike Wilson once penned the immortal line: "The difference betweenGod and Larry Ellison? God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison". While Lord Ellison of Barking will no doubt be over the moon at beating his hated rival to the richest man title, observers claim the Pope will be more sanguine: "He's been there, done that," said one. ® But Ellison's celebrations may be short lived. In an industry famous for taking pops at the successful, we could now see Oracle taking Microsoft's place as the company you love to hate. And maybe Bill will now have time to get a proper haircut. ®

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