Google's informal motto is “don't be evil,” but outspoken Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison has accused the Internet company's CEO, Larry Page, of acting “absolutely evil.”
Ellison, the CEO and co-founder of Redwood City-based software giant Oracle Corp., has long been famous for his zingers against business foes.
He targeted Page as the two companies square off in a U.S. appeals court over a bitter lawsuit involving Google's Android operating system.
“We just think they took our stuff, and that was wrong,” Ellison said in an interview with Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning,” which was aired Tuesday.
When asked if he thought Page was evil, Ellison replied: “I think what they did was absolutely evil.” He fell short of vilifying the man himself as evil.
The attack on Page stems from Oracle's acquisition of the Java programming platform, which it got with its 2010 purchase of Sun Microsystems. At the time, Ellison said Java was the most valuable software asset he had ever acquired.
Oracle sued Google in 2010, claiming that the Internet giant's Android mobile operating system infringed Java patents. A federal judge last year ruled in favor of Google. Oracle is appealing.
Over the years, Ellison has targeted the heads of long-time rivals such IBM, Microsoft and SAP, along with executives of companies he sought to acquire in hostile takeover battles.
During the interview, which CBS said took place last week, Ellison also addressed controversy over the U.S. National Security Agency's electronic surveillance programs.
Ellison called the agency's data collection “absolutely essential” for ferreting out potential terrorists and said it would be alarming only if data was used for political targeting.
The U.S. government is one of the biggest customers of Oracle, which was founded more than 30 years ago and built a database for the CIA as one of its earliest projects.
He also addressed the future of Apple Inc. without his “best friend,” the late Steve Jobs at the helm, saying the maker of iPhones and Mac computers would not be nearly so successful.
“I like Tim Cook,” he said about Jobs' successor. “There are a lot of talented people there, but Steve is irreplaceable.”