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.
Chairman of the Otto Group Supervisory Board
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 the largest mail order group in the world and the only global player in this market. 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, 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, 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 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).
Member of the Otto Group Supervisory Board
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 the e-commerce start-up Collins within the Otto Group. He has been a Member of the Otto Group Board of Partners and 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. In the field of health, the HHI Holistic Health Institute Foundation he set up remains active.
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. Part of the evoreal Group’s business model is the construction of high-quality housing in major cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. In terms of societal commitment, Benjamin Otto actively promotes holistic, alternative medical treatment through the HHI Holistic Health Institute.
Chairman of the Board ECE Projektmanagement G.m.b.H. & Co. KG
Deputy Chairman of the Otto Group Supervisory Board
Works Council Otto (GmbH & Co KG) (Employee representative)
Vice employee organization head Schwab Versand GmbH (Employee representative)
Managing Director CURA Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co KG limited partnership
Employee Kommanditgesellschaft CURA Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co KG
Chair of works council Baur Versand (GmbH & Co KG), (Employee representative)
Chairman of the General Works Council Hermes Fulfilment GmbH (Employee representative)
Managing Director CURA Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co. limited partnership
Chair of works council EOS Region Germany (Employee representative)
Executive employee/Human Resources
ver.di Trade Union Secretary Commerce (Employee representative)
Managing Director (retired)
ver.di Trade Union Secretary Commerce (Employee representative)
Regional representative of ver.di
General Manager (retired)
Chairwoman of the Works Council, bonprix Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Honorary Chairman of BVL, Bundesvereinigung Logistik e.V.