Peeping Larry

Oracle's unapologetic CEO admits his spies poked through Dumpsters looking for dirt on Microsoft

Larry Ellison's enemies were gleefully talking trash last week. Reports were rampant that Ellison, the flamboyant CEO of softwaremaker Oracle, had hired private investigators to peruse the garbage of groups defending his archrival Microsoft in its antitrust case. Reporters descended on Larryland, as the company's Redwood Shores, Calif., campus is called, anticipating Larrygate.

But Ellison resolutely refused to see the revelations as scandalous. He readily admitted that Dumpster diving had its disadvantages. "Some of the things our investigator did may have been unsavory," he said. "Certainly from a personal-hygiene point they were. I mean, garbage--yuck."

But unethical? Ellison begged to...

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