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Safra Catz

Honoree: Safra Catz

Trailblazing Journey of Safra Ada Catz: From Immigrant Roots to Corporate Summit

Safra Ada Catz, born on December 1, 1961, in Holon, Israel, stands today as a paragon of corporate leadership and financial acumen. An Israeli-American, she has carved her niche as a billionaire banker and a visionary technology executive, currently serving as the CEO of Oracle Corporation. Catz's journey with Oracle began in April 1999, and by 2001, she had already secured a pivotal role on the company's board. Her ascent continued, and in April 2011, she was appointed co-president and chief financial officer (CFO), directly under the mentorship of Oracle's founder, Larry Ellison.

Catz's early life was a tapestry of cultural and geographical transitions. At the tender age of six, she moved from Israel to Brookline, Massachusetts. Demonstrating early signs of brilliance, she graduated from Brookline High School and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1983, followed by a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986.

Before her epoch-making entry into Oracle, Catz honed her skills in the banking sector at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Here, she rose through the ranks, serving as a managing director and later as a senior vice president. Her financial acumen was further sharpened through various investment banking roles since 1986.

Upon joining Oracle in 1999, Catz's influence grew rapidly. She made her mark as a non-executive director of Oracle subsidiary Hyperion Solutions in April 2007 and joined the executive council of TechNet in March 2013. Her directorial prowess extended to PeopleSoft Inc and Stellent Inc, where she served since December 2004 and December 2006, respectively.

Catz's role at Oracle has been nothing short of transformative. She played a pivotal role in Oracle's aggressive acquisition strategy, notably driving the company's 2005 efforts to acquire software rival PeopleSoft in a $10.3 billion takeover. Her tenure as CFO, a role she intermittently held since November 2005, has been marked by strategic financial management and growth.

Her leadership prowess was globally recognized when, in 2009, Fortune ranked her as the 12th most powerful woman in business and Forbes listed her as the 16th most powerful businesswoman. Her influence only grew, and by 2014, she was ranked 24th by Forbes. Notably, in 2011, she was the highest-paid woman among Fortune 1000 companies, with an estimated total remuneration of $51,695,742, according to an Equilar analysis published by Fortune.

Beyond her corporate roles, Catz is also known for her academic contributions as a lecturer in accounting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She served as a director of HSBC from 2008 to 2015, further expanding her influence in the global financial sector.

Catz's political involvement has been equally noteworthy. During the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, she donated to Marco Rubio's campaign and was later named a member of Donald Trump's transition team. She has been frequently mentioned as a potential appointee in the Trump administration, with Bloomberg News reporting her consideration for roles such as Director of National Intelligence and United States Trade Representative.

In 2018, she was reportedly on the shortlist for the position of National Security Advisor, and during the 2018 election cycle, she contributed over $150,000 to Republican-aligned groups and individuals. In May 2020, Catz made a significant donation of $125,000 to Donald Trump's re-election campaign.

Catz's personal life is anchored by her marriage to Gal Tirosh, with whom she shares two sons. Her journey, marked by relentless ambition, strategic acumen, and influential leadership, continues to inspire and shape the realms of technology and finance.

Walt Disney Company U.S. Trade Representative transition team Tim Cook technology executive TechNet Stellent Inc Stanford Graduate School of Business Sheryl Sandberg senior vice president Romanian immigrant Republican presidential primaries PeopleSoft Inc Oracle Corporation National Security Advisor Massachusetts Mark Hurd Marco Rubio managing director Lufkin & Jenrette Larry Ellison Jewish parents Jeff Bezos Israeli-American Israel investment banking Hyperion Solutions HSBC Homeland Security Advisory Council Holon highest-paid woman highest paid female CEO H. R. McMaster Gal Tirosh Fortune 1000 Donaldson Donald Trump re-election campaign Donald Trump Director of National Intelligence Devin Nunes co-president chief financial officer CEO Brookline Board Member billionaire banker Alejandro Mayorkas acquisition strategy
Passionate Pursuit - Romancing Your Goals: A 15-Step Guide for the Ambitious Woman

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