Dr. Michael Otto, born in 1943, is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group in
Hamburg, Germany.

Between 1981 and 2007 he was Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive
Officer of the Otto Group. Under his leadership, the company has 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 main companies and operates in 19 countries in Europe, America and Asia.

By focusing on linking the synergies of the catalogue range, stationary retail business and
Internet to create a modern multi channel distribution system, Otto is offering customers a
choice of complementary distribution channels. In e-commerce the Otto Group is number 2
worldwide behind Amazon in the business-to-consumer (B2C) segment.
As head of the group, Otto considers that his principal responsibility is for overall strategy.
He cultivates a cooperative style of management and his aim is to delegate as much
responsibility as possible to every member of staff. In addition, he considers it important that
everyone should be prepared to take on other tasks in society besides his or her regular job.

This attitude is reflected in the many honorary posts that Dr. Otto holds. He is, for example,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Politics and Industry (Rissen House),
Hamburg; initiator and Chairman of the Group of Friends of the College of Fine Arts in
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. Dr. Otto also sits on supervisory board of:
Axel Springer Verlag AG, Berlin, partner in Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, Stuttgart.
Because of the specific ownership structure Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG carries the
entrepreneurial ownership functions of Robert Bosch GmbH.

Michael’s Sessions

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