Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board, chaired by Prof Dr Michael Otto, monitors and advises the Executive Board.

Among the tasks of the Supervisory Board are nominating Executive Board Members, monitoring and advising the Executive Board, approving the annual financial statements, as well as approving key business plans and decisions.

Prof Dr Michael Otto

Chairman of the Otto Group Supervisory Board

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

Between 1981 and 2007, he was Chairman & CEO of the Otto Group. Under his leadership, the company developed into a globally active retail and services group. Prof Dr Otto already recognised the potential of online trade back in the mid-nineties and turned the Otto Group into one of the world's most successful e-commerce companies. He was honoured as a "Digitalisierungsmacher" ("Digital enabler") for his achievements  at the Digital Champions Awards in 2016. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board, he continues to significantly shape and promote the digital transformation of the company. Today the Otto Group includes 123 major companies and is present in over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. It is one of the world’s largest online retailer.

After finishing school and earning his university entrance certificate (A-level equivalent), Michael Otto completed an apprenticeship 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, Prof Dr Michael Otto joined the Otto Group, 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, Prof 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 Environmental Foundation Michael Otto, Hamburg; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Werner Otto Foundation for Medical Research, Hamburg; Chairman of the Executive Board of “Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft” (Climate Economy Foundation, formerly known as Foundation 2° - German Business for Climate Protection); Member of the Board of Trustees of the Helmut and Loki Schmidt Foundation; Honorary Senator of the German National Foundation; Member of the International Club of Rome; Honorary Chairman of the Board of Foundation of the Environmental Foundation WWF Germany; Honorary member of the World Future Council.

Awards and honours:

German Marketing Prize (1982); Manager of the Year (1986 and 2001); Eco Manager of the Year (1991); International Retailer of the Year 1995 of the National Retail Federation, New York (1995); International Corporate Conscience Award for Environmental Initiatives 1996 of the Council on Economic Priorities, New York (1996); Binding-Prize for Nature and Environmental Protection of the Binding Foundation Schaan/Liechtenstein (1996); "Alfred Töpfer Medal" of the Hamburg Senate (1996); Deutscher Umweltpreis der Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Environment Award 1997 of the German Federal Environmental Foundation) (1997); Honorary Senator of the Universities of Hamburg and Greifswald (2000); Business Ethics Award presented by the German Business Ethics Network (2000); Induction into the DMA Hall of Fame, New York (2001); Sustainability Leadership Award (2002); Prize for Understanding and Tolerance of the Jewish Museum Berlin (2004); International B.A.U.M. Special Award (2005); Vernon A. Walters Award 2005 of the Atlantik-Brücke (2005); German Incorporators’ Prize in the category ‘life’s work’ (2006); International Lifetime Award (2006); Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz mit Stern (Great Cross of Merit with star of the Federal Republic of Germany) (2006); Deutscher Handelspreis in the segment Lifetime Award (German Retail Prize) (2007); Medal for Merits in the German Philanthropic Sector (2008); Theodor Heuss Prize (2010); UNESCO Children in Need Support Award (2010); Walter-Scheel-Prize (2011); Heinz Sielmann Honorary Award (2011); International TÜV Rhineland Global Compact Award (2011); Honorary Doctorate HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (2012); Business Hall of Fame of the Manager Magazin (2012); Honorary citizen of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (2013); Steiger-Award for commitment in the environmental sector (2013); Bavarian Order of Merit (2015); Honorary membership of the Patriotic Society of 1765 ("Patriotische Gesellschaft von 1765") (2016), Appointment as digitisation maker in the context of the "Digital Champions Award" by Wirtschaftswoche and Telekom (2016), German CSR Award (2017), Hans Lenz Medal for Services to Amateur Music Making (2017), Award of the honorary title "Professor" by the City of Hamburg (2018), EWS-Award of the European Economic Senate (2019), GEM Award for thought leaders in the field of branding (2019), Hamburg Citizen Award (2019), Global Economy Prize by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (2021), Values Medal of the Values Foundation (2021).

Benjamin Otto


Member of the Otto Group Supervisory Board and active Shareholder of the Otto Group

Chairman of the Holistic Foundation

Benjamin Otto, born 1975, is a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Hamburg retail and services group Otto (GmbH & Co KG).

From 2012 to 2015, Benjamin Otto was Executive Director of Otto Group’s e-commerce start-up Collins, from which the fashion and technology company About You emerged in 2014. He has been a Member and Managing Partner of the Otto Group Board of Partners and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Michael Otto Foundation, majority shareholder of the Otto Group, since 01.06.2015. Benjamin Otto is an active investor in the start-up and venture capital area. He is co-initiator and anchor investor of the impact tech fund "Revent". Socially he is active with his foundations.

Following his A-levels, Benjamin Otto trained in Banking Management with Germany’s oldest private bank, and then studied International Business at the European Business School in London. Following professional assignments abroad in Madrid and Buenos Aires, his penchant for technology and entrepreneurship led him to set up Intelligent House Solutions in 2002, which equips private and commercial buildings with high-quality architectural and technological features. What started as a small company in a niche market quickly developed to become a mid-sized group of project-development companies: evoreal Holding, which Benjamin Otto sold in 2018. In terms of societal commitment, Benjamin Otto is involved with his wife in the Holistic Foundation and with the HHI Holistic Health Institute Foundation for healing through holistic, alternative treatment methods.

Alexander Otto

Chairman of the Board ECE Group GmbH & Co. KG

Frederic Arndts

Member of the Board GSV Aktiengesellschaft für Beteiligungen

Benjamin Schaper

Managing Director GFH Gesellschaft für Handelsbeteiligungen m.b.H.

Jürgen Bühler

Chairman of the Works Council Schwab Versand GmbH

Torsten Furgol

Regional Specialist ver.di Trade Union (Employee representative)

Dr. Rainer Hillebrand

Independent management and strategy consultant

Heike Lattekamp

ver.di Trade Union Secretary Commerce (Employee representative)

Marius Marschall von Bieberstein

Managing Partner evoreal Holding GmbH & Co. KG

Thomas Mort

Deputy Chairman of the Works Council Witt Gruppe
Deputy Chairman of the Group Works Council Otto Group

Heinrich Reisen

Chairman of the General Works Council Hermes Germany GmbH (Employee representative)

Lars-Uwe Rieck

ver.di Trade Union Secretary Post and Logistic (Employee representative)

Birgit Rössig

Deputy Chairwoman
Group Works Council Chairwoman Otto (GmbH & Co KG) (Employee representative)

Hans-Otto Schrader

General Manager (retired)

Dr Winfried Steeger


Monika Vietheer-Grupe

Chairwoman of the Works Council Bonprix Handelsgesellschaft mbH (Employee representative)

Sandra Widmaier-Gebauer

Executive employee/Human Resources (Employee representative)

Professor Dr Peer Witten

Chairman of the Board GSV Aktiengesellschaft für Beteiligungen

Inka Wolff

Member of the Works Council Hermes Fulfilment GmbH (Employee representative)


Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Who he is and what he is doing