Prof. Dr. h.c. Werner Otto is one of the most important entrepreneurs in German post-war history. After World War II, he developed the Otto Versand mail-order company, which became a world-class company, from nothing. At the age of almost 60, Otto started all over again and founded ECE, today Europe’s largest company for the development and operation of shopping centers.
Werner Otto developed and maintained a corporate culture characterized by fairness and responsibility. However, his commitment for a humane society didn’t stop at the companies boundaries. Out of interest in the public good, Werner Otto participated over decades as adviser and admonisher in social and politico-economic dialogues.
Right from the beginning, he wanted to share his large success with others and committed himself to different areas as one of Germany’s greatest patrons. Via the Werner Otto Foundation, the Werner Otto Institute, and the Werner Otto House, he helps sick children and furthermore contributes millions to the support of cultural institutions and the maintenance of important monuments.
Werner Otto incorporates courage, determination, and assertiveness, but also sympathy, helpfulness and solidarity. His life’s work is exemplary for economically successful and at the same time social and responsible entrepreneurship.
"To disappoint a person, to loose his trust is worse than loss of turnover. The material loss can be offset with competence; the immaterial damage can never be compensated."