Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison, who purchased the island of Lanai in June for a reported $500 million, spoke publically for the first time about his plans for the Pineapple Isle during an Oct. 2 interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo.
Ellison discussed the future of his software company primarily but did briefly touch on Lanai when asked about the recent acquisition.
“I love Hawaii, and Lanai is a very interesting project,” he told Bartiromo. “What we are going to do is turn Lanai into a model for sustainable enterprise.”
Although he didn’t mention either of the island’s two Four Seasons resorts, Ellison explained that he now owns Lanai’s water and electric utilities and outlined his intention to use solar energy to convert sea water there into fresh water for irrigation.
“We are going to have organic farms all over the island,” he said. “Hopefully, we are going to export produce, really the best organic produce to Japan and elsewhere. …We are going to support the local people and help them start these businesses.”
The software tycoon also said electric vehicles were an important part of his Lanai plan moving forward.
“It is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in business …,” he said.
Home to around 3,000 residents, Lanai was sold to Ellison by California billionaire David Murdock this summer. Murdock purchased Lanai in 1985 but had been losing a reported $20 million to $30 million a year on the island, located off the northwest coast of Maui.