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Michael Otto Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Michael Otto was born on 12 April 1943, in Chelmno (Kulm) Poland (then German occupied) to parents Werner and Eva Otto, and is known for being the head of the German Otto Group, the world’s largest mail order company. Forbes magazine ranks Michael as the 50th richest person in the world, and probably the third richest German in 2015.
So just how rich is Michael Otto? Forbes estimates that Otto’s net worth has reached over $18 billion, most of his wealth having been accumulated through the success of Otto Group and real estate investments.
Michael Otto Net Worth $18 Billion
After finishing school and earning his university entrance certificate, Michael Otto trained in banking, and then studied economics, eventually taking a doctorate in the subject at the University of Munich. While still at university, he independently set up on his own real estate and financial brokerage business, which was a significant start to his rise in net worth.
The Otto Group was founded in 1949 in Hamburg, as a mail-order business. In 1971, (Dr.) Michael Otto joined the Otto Group, and became a Member of the Executive Board Merchandise (Textile), quickly restructuring the division. Then between 1981 and 2007, he served as Chairman and CEO of the Otto Group. His expert leadership saw the Group become the largest mail order company in the world, in fact the only global player in this market. Naturally, Michael Otto’s net worth has risen commensurately with the success of the Otto Group.
Today the Otto Group consists of more than 120 major companies in more than 20 countries in Europe, America and Asia, with over 50,000 employees. In e-commerce the Otto Group is the world’s No. 1 fashion and lifestyle company in B2C. Otto also maintains its position as the web’s second-biggest retailer, behind Amazon.com, as a consequence of a continuing increase in internet sales. Needless to say, Michael’s net worth has continued to rise.
The Otto Group isn’t currently run by a family member, though Michael’s son Benjmain has emerged as a potential successor to the current CEO, Hans-Otto Schrader. Otto Group is currently trying to build its e-retail business even further, as it still ranks behind Amazon.com in terms of size, if not spread.
Michael Otto and his family own extensive real estate in Canada and in the United States, including over 50% of Crate and Barrel, and shopping centers in Germany. Known as a committed environmentalist, his company has long promoted environmentally safe products.
In 1993, he created the Michael Otto Foundation (German: Michael Otto Stiftung), with the object of playing a leading role in furthering multi-stakeholder dialogue on hot environmental issues, which it continues to do to this day. Michael is also noted for promoting US-German relations on a broad scale.
(Dr.) Michael Otto is also noted for delegating responsibility to every staff member, including an expectation that they take on additional tasks in society, particularly in sustaining a clean environment. This attitude is reflected in the many honorary posts that Michael Otto holds, for example Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Politics and Industry (Rissen House), Hamburg; Chairman of the Council of the Environmental Foundation WWF Deutschland, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Werner Otto Foundation for Medical Research, as well as the aforementioned Michael Otto Foundation. For these works, he has been honoured with too many awards to mention.
In his personal life, Michael Otto is married with two children. He is an alumnus of the University of Hamburg and the University of Munich where he obtained his doctorate degrees.