Bodo Kipper becomes member of the OTTO Management Board

10.12.2019 | Hamburg

With effect from 1 January 2020, Bodo Kipper will take over responsibility for the "Retail and Marketplace" area, which will emerge from the Categories area. Dr. Michael Heller, the former Categories area executive, is leaving the Otto Group by mutual agreement to take on new challenges outside the Otto Group after many successful years.

With Bodo Kipper, the Otto Group appoints a manager to the four-member board of the Otto Group's most important group company, who is very experienced in the digital commerce business. The graduate in business administration has assumed responsibility in almost all management disciplines in his diverse professional life. After working for international strategy consultancies, Bodo Kipper spent many years advancing the e-commerce start-up GoIndustry DoveBid, most recently as its Managing Director for Central Europe. From 2008 to 2015, the 53-year-old was Head of Merchant Services at Amazon and responsible for the entire marketplace business in Germany. From 2015 to 2018, as CEO of, he was responsible for the realignment and fundamental restructuring of Switzerland's largest digital marketplace. Since then he has been successfully advising companies on digital business models and digital transformation issues.

The company OTTO is developing from a classic online retailer into a platform with a focus on home and living. The new Management Board area Retail and Marketplace comprises the operative business as well as the entire digitalisation and automation process for the company's own retail business and business with partners as providers on the platform, as well as the scaling of the platform via the ongoing acquisition and support of new partners.

Michael Heller, longstanding Member of the Management Board for the Categories area, will leave the Otto Group by mutual agreement with effect from 31 December 2019. He can look back on an exceptionally successful career. In 2002 Michael Heller joined OTTO from what was then Quelle AG as Head of Home Textiles Buying and was later appointed Head of Buying Furniture & Home Furnishings. In 2007 he was promoted to Vice President Hard Goods Buying. A year later he was named OTTO Executive Board Member, Buying. The 53-year-old has been Member of the OTTO Management Board, Categories since 2012, concentrating above all on the company OTTO with responsibility for the relevant Buying Functions of all the company’s German and international business activities. Since 01 June 2018 Michael Heller has additionally held the post of Deputy Chairman of the OTTO Management Board.

Michael Heller contributed significantly to the transformation of the former catalogue mail order company OTTO into a successful online player. Under his leadership, classic purchasing was transformed into efficient online category management. He has set major impulses for the development of the platform strategy and set the course for the digital transformation of the business model. As Managing Director of Lascana, Baumarkt Direkt and Media Einkaufsgesellschaft, he was also responsible for successful special concepts. Michael Heller has held numerous advisory and supervisory board positions for the Otto Group, most recently Otto Group Japan, OTTO Holland and Küche & Co. As Board Member responsible for the sustainability strategy of OTTO, Michael Heller has set standards to live up to OTTO's responsibility for the environment and social affairs.

"We would like to thank Michael Heller for his many years of successful commitment to OTTO and the Otto Group. We wish him all the best for his future professional and private life", emphasises Dr. Marcus Ackermann, Member of the Otto Group Executive Board Multichannel-Retail. "Bodo Kipper we wish a good start and a happy hand for the challenges he faces in developing into a successful platform."

Bodo Kipper
Bodo Kipper
Member of the OTTO Management Board from 1 January 2020
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About Otto Group

Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally active retail and services group with around 52,560 employees in 30 major company groups and does business in over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Its business activities are grouped into three segments: Multichannel Retail, Financial Services, and Service. In the 2018/19 financial year (to 28 February), the Otto Group generated revenues of 13.4 billion euros. With online revenues of approximately 7.7 billion euros, the Otto Group is one of the world’s largest online retailers. The Group’s particular strength is its broad market presence with differentiated product and service offers to diverse customer target groups in almost all of the world’s relevant economic regions. Numerous strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities to transfer know-how and leverage areas of synergy potential. Group companies demonstrate a high degree of corporate responsibility and willingness to collaborate with one another; at the same time this guarantees flexibility, customer proximity and optimum target-group appeal in their respective national markets.

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