Hasso Plattner

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Hasso Plattner
Plattner in 2010
Born (1944-01-21) 21 January 1944 (age 80)
Berlin, Germany
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, philanthropist
Known forFounder of SAP SE; majority owner of the San Jose Sharks ice hockey team
TitleChairman of SAP SE

Hasso Plattner (born 21 January 1944) is a German businessman. A co-founder of SAP SE software company, he has been chairman of the supervisory board of SAP SE since May 2003.[1] As of August 2020, Forbes reported that he possessed a net worth of US$17.9 billion.[2]

Early life[edit]

Plattner was born to German ophthalmologist Horst Plattner (1918–2001) and his wife shortly before the end of the Second World War, in Berlin.[citation needed] He grew up in Bavaria.[3]


Plattner set up SAP with four co-founders in 1972.[3] He stepped down as co-chief executive in 2003 at age 60.[4] He has since been serving as chairman of the company's supervisory board[5] and played an influential role in the company's governance, orchestrating the hiring of co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein in 2019.[6] He has reduced his stake in SAP several times;[7] as of 2020, he owned a 5.89% stake, making him the company's largest individual shareholder.[8]

In 1998, Plattner founded the non-profit Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). He is Chair of Enterprise Platform and Integration Concepts and Professor of Enterprise Systems at HPI.

In 2005, Plattner set up his own venture capital fund, Hasso Plattner Ventures, with more than 25 million euros. By December 2009, HPV managed €150 million and had 17 companies in its portfolio, including online cruise portals Dreamlines.[9] An affiliate fund, HPV Africa in Cape Town, was founded in 2008, with €29 million, and soon invested in five companies.[10] Plattner provides the lion's share of this investment capital.[11] In September 2010, HPV invested $6 million in Israeli software company Panaya in exchange for the company's stakes.

Sporting interests[edit]

In 2005, Plattner's maxZ86 maxi yacht set a record at the Transpacific Yacht Race and was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls. She finished the race in 6 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes, and 11 seconds to win "the Barn Door" trophy, a slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time. In 2013, he won the German Dragon Championship as part of a three-man crew that included Hamish Pepper.[12]

Plattner is a keen golfer. He owns the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club, which has three Gary Player-designed championship courses, in addition to the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California.[13] The Links of Fancourt staged the 2003 Presidents Cup matches between the US and an international team, captained by Gary Player.

Plattner is also an investor in San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises, which owns the San Jose Sharks, and other related properties as well as managing the city owned SAP Center at San Jose. In 2013, he bought out two of the partners in SJS&E, and began serving as the Sharks' representative on the National Hockey League's board of governors.[14][15] The absentee owner rarely has been seen in the San Jose area over the years,[citation needed] however, as general manager Mike Grier and his staff run the hockey operations.[16]


Plattner signed The Giving Pledge in February 2013.[17][18] In 2015, he set up the Hasso Plattner Foundation and the charity's activities span education, art and culture, and conservation.[19] Since 2017, the foundation has been headquartered at Villa Wunderkind in Potsdam, the former home of German fashion designer Wolfgang Joop.[20]


Plattner has had strong connections with South Africa over the years and spends some of his time living there, while participating in charitable work. In the fight against AIDS, he supports the universities of KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town.

Plattner's donation of €6 million for the Isombululo programme for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS was announced at the Presidents Cup, one of the world's leading international golf tournaments in 2003 and it is suggested that this amount will have helped 360,000 people. In the spring of 2005, Plattner personally covered the costs of the 46664 benefit concert, which took place at his Gary Player-designed golf course, The Links of Fancourt in George which is near Cape Town and which was broadcast globally on television. Proceeds went towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an organisation co-founded by former South African president Nelson Mandela.[21][22]

Architecture and visual arts[edit]

Plattner contributed more than €20 million which enabled reconstruction of the historic exterior of the Stadtschloss in Potsdam, which had damaged during World War II and demolished in 1959. At the time, it was the largest donation ever gifted in Germany by a single individual.[23]

In 2016, Plattner joined forces with art dealer Guy Wildenstein to form the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, a foundation dedicated to advancing art historical scholarship by fostering the accessibility, cataloguing, and digitisation of primary sources.[24]

Plattner also helped in the establishment of the Museum Barberini, devoted to his holdings of modern and Impressionist art, as well as artists active in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).[25] In 2022, he opened Das Minsk, another private museum in Potsdam, which focuses on East German artists who were active after the fall of the Berlin wall.[26]


Since his retirement from SAP, Plattner has been particularly active as a benefactor in the field of technological research. Media reports have named him one of Germany's most important private sponsors of scientific research. In 1998, Plattner founded the Hasso Plattner Institute for software systems engineering based at the University of Potsdam, and in Palo Alto, California, its sole source of funding being the non-profit Hasso Plattner Foundation for Software Systems Engineering. Plattner has pledged €50 million of his personal fortune over a period of 20 years. Since its foundation, Plattner's commitment to the HPI has quadrupled to over €200 million. He not only fully finances the HPI, but is also actively involved as a director and lecturer in Enterprise Platforms and Integration Concepts.[27]

In October 2005, with a donation of US$35 million, Plattner founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University.[28] Students of varying disciplines have been charged with the development of user-friendly innovations. Another of Plattner's pledges to promote science was of €10 million to redevelop the library at the University of Mannheim, Germany, given in 2003.


On 21 January 2004, at a ceremony at the Hasso Plattner Institute celebrating the 60th birthday of its founder, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made the following comments on Plattner's achievements: "We need more Hasso Plattners and more SAPs in order to get Germany moving again economically."[29] According to the Chancellor, Plattner created an international corporation proving "that German companies can be at the top of the technological hierarchy worldwide". In an interview in August 2004, the Munich-based management consultant Roland Berger named Hasso Plattner as one of the five Germans who have made the greatest impression on him. In the Welt am Sonntag article Berger pointed out how Plattner founded, built up and adapted SAP to a changing market was a "master achievement".

Honorary degrees[edit]

Plattner received his honorary doctorate in 2002, and his honorary professorship in 2004 from the University of Potsdam. He had also received an honorary doctorate (1990) and an honorary professorship in Information Systems (1994) from the Saarland University, Saarbrücken. The same university named him an honorary senator in 1998.[30]


Personal life[edit]

Plattner is married to Sabine Plattner, a former teacher.[33] The couple has two children,[34] who grew up in Heidelberg, Germany.[22] The family also maintains residences in Sylt and Yzerfontein.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hasso Plattner: Executive Profile & Biography". investing.businessweek.com. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  2. ^ "#20 Hasso Plattner & family". The Richest People in Tech. Forbes. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Taylor, Paul; Bryant, Chris (2 March 2014). "Hasso Plattner, SAP's software pioneer still sailing on". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  4. ^ O'Brien, Kevin J. (2 March 2005). "Management shuffle at SAP sets the scene for Israeli's rise to top". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  5. ^ ten Wolde, Harro; Wissenbach, Ilona (10 May 2017). "SAP chairman Plattner open to extend contract beyond 2019". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  6. ^ Busvine, Douglas (20 November 2019). "SAP founder and chairman sells 100 million euro stake, holding now 6.2%". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Corrected – Update 1 – Co-founder Plattner to cut stake in SAP". Reuters. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  8. ^ Busvine, Douglas (27 October 2020). "Chairman Plattner buys nearly $300 million in SAP stock". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  9. ^ Schuetze, Arno (24 September 2019). "Online cruise portals Dreamlines, e-hoi looking for investors –sources". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  10. ^ Schenker, Jennifer L. (18 February 2008). "Africa tech push: Ex-SAP CEO launches venture fund in Cape Town". Spiegel International. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  11. ^ Cser, Thomas (2011). "How to find successful venture capital candidates in the ICT industry in South Africa ? An analysis of the selection process at Hasso Plattner Venture Africa" (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  12. ^ Paul Taylor and Chris Bryant (2 March 2014), Hasso Plattner, SAP’s software pioneer still sailing on Financial Times.
  13. ^ Pollak, David (30 January 2013). "Hasso Plattner becomes new face of San Jose Sharks ownership group". Mercury News. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Sharks Sports & Entertainment announces changes to ownership group". San Jose Sharks. 30 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  15. ^ Pollak, David (30 January 2013). "Hasso Plattner becomes new face of San Jose Sharks ownership group". The Mercury News. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  16. ^ "Sharks name Mike Grier as general manager". San Jose Sharks. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  17. ^ "The Giving Pledge expands beyond U.S. with addition of 12 new signatories from across the globe" (Press release). The Giving Pledge. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  18. ^ Andrew Jack (19 February 2013), Billionaires pledge to give money away Financial Times.
  19. ^ Shubber, Kadhim (25 March 2022). "SAP chair's charity emerges as top investor in software giant spinout". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  20. ^ Schicketanz, Sabine (22 February 2017). "Exklusiv: Neues am Heiligen See: Plattner kauft Joops Villa Wunderkind". Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten (in German). ISSN 1865-2263. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  21. ^ "The Foundation". Museum Barberini. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Hasso Plattner & family". Forbes. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  23. ^ Wiechers, Katharina (7 September 2016). "Stadtschloss-Vorkämpfer Michael Schöne blickt zurück: Zwei Jahrzehnte für Knobelsdorff". Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  24. ^ Scher, Robin (7 November 2016). "Guy Wildenstein, Hasso Plattner start foundation focused on art-historical research and technology". ARTnews. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  25. ^ "Founder and Foundation". Museum Barberini. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  26. ^ Villa, Angelica (2 September 2022). "German mogul Hasso Plattner to open private museum in salvaged former restaurant". ARTnews. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  27. ^ "Founder Hasso Plattner". Hasso Plattner Institute. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  28. ^ Nussbaum, Bruce (3 October 2005). "SAP founder gives $35 million for Stanford D-School". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  29. ^ "Bundeskanzler Schröder würdigt Hasso Plattner als vorbildlichen Unternehmer". Siebenbürgische Zeitung. 3 March 2004. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  30. ^ Verleihung der Würde eines Ehrensenators, Saarland University, January 1999. (in German)
  31. ^ "Preisträger des Leonardo Award 2014 stehen fest » Aktuell » Archive Resource » German Press Releases » Press » Leonardo". 21 April 2014. Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  32. ^ "GABA eNews July/ August 2014". www.gaba-network.org. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  33. ^ Ralf E. Krüger (19 May 2003), SAP: Hasso Plattners Sonnenparadies Manager Magazin.
  34. ^ Paul Taylor and Chris Bryant (2 March 2014), Hasso Plattner, SAP’s software pioneer still sailing on Financial Times.
  35. ^ Margaret O’Connor (7 December 2012), At home: Sabine Plattner Financial Times.

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