Vita: Dr. Michael Otto

Dr. Michael Otto, born 1943, is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Hamburg-based retail and services group, Otto (GmbH & Co KG).


Dr. Michael Otto

Dr. Michael Otto

Between 1981 and 2007, he served as Chairman & CEO of the Otto Group. Under his leadership, the company developed into the largest mail order group in the world and the only global player in this market. Today the Otto Group consists of 123 major companies in more than 20 countries in Europe, America and Asia. In e-commerce the Otto Group is the world's No. 1 fashion and lifestyle company in B2C.

After finishing school and earning his university entrance certificate (A-level equivalent), Michael Otto trained at a bank and then studied economics, taking a doctorate in the subject. While still at university, he independently set up his own real estate and financial brokerage business.

In 1971, Dr. Michael Otto joined the Otto Group and became Member of the Executive Board Merchandise (Textile) and restructured the division.

His desire to give back to society is reflected in the variety of honorary posts he holds. Among other positions, Dr. Otto is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Politics and Industry (“Haus Rissen”), Hamburg; Vice Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Group of German Business in Berlin; Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection, Hamburg; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Werner Otto Foundation for Medical Research, Hamburg; Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the WWF Germany Environmental Foundation; Honorary member of the World Future Council. Dr. Otto is also a partner in Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, Stuttgart.

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