January 21, 1944 |
Berlin, Nazi Germany
|Known for||Founder of SAP AG; majority owner of the San Jose Sharks hockey team|
|Net worth||$8.9 billion (2013)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)|
Hasso Plattner (born 21 January 1944 in Berlin, Nazi Germany) is a German billionaire businessman. A co-founder of SAP AG software company, he has served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP AG since May 2003.
For his commitment to economics and science, Plattner has received a number of honours. Germany's manager magazin awarded its coveted Leadership Award for Global Integration to the "technology guru" and inaugurated him into their Hall of Fame, which honours those who promote economic and social development in Germany. In 2001, Time Magazine Europe ranked Plattner #1 on its list of the most important and influential IT personalities.
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." 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". In 2013, Plattner was estimated to be worth US$8.9 billion by Forbes, making him the 10th richest man in Germany and 147th globally.
Along with sailing, Plattner is a keen golfer. He owns the Fancourt Golf Estate, which has four Gary Player-designed championship courses. The Links of Fancourt staged the 2003 Presidents Cup matches between the USA and an international team, captained by Gary Player. Plattner is an investor in San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises, which owns the San Jose Sharks, HP Pavilion at San Jose and other related properties. 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. 
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.
His donation of six million euros 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 former South African president Nelson Mandela's fund to fight HIV/AIDS.
Plattner has contributed €20 million to the reconstruction of the Stadtschloss (in Potsdam), which was damaged during World War II and demolished in 1959. Plattner signed The Giving Pledge in February 2013.
Commitment to education
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. Plattner received his honorary doctorate in 2002 and his honorary professorship in 2004 from the University of Potsdam. Plattner 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.
Also 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.
In October 2005, with a donation of US$35 million, Plattner founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University 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.
HassoPlattnerVentures, a venture capital fund, was set up with more than 25 million euros on 1 July 2005 in Potsdam with the goal of supporting young entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into marketable products. As of December 2009 HPV manages €150 million and has 17 companies in its portfolio. An affiliate fund, HPV Africa, was founded in 2008 with €29 million, and has already invested in five companies. Plattner provides the lion's share of this investment capital.
He is married, has two children, and lives in Schriesheim-Altenbach near Heidelberg, Germany.
- "Hasso Plattner profile". Forbes.com. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Hasso Plattner: Executive Profile & Biography". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany; accessed 7 May 2014.
- Forbes World's Richest People (October 2004), Forbes.com; accessed 6 May 2014.
- Sharks Sports & Entertainment Announces Changes to Ownership Group (January 2013), SJSharks.com; accessed 19 May 2014.
- Hasso Plattner Institute of Design website; accessed 3 May 2014.