He is considered to be one of the most remarkable and successful personages of social market economy: The entrepreneur and patron Professor Dr. h.c. Werner Otto will be celebrating his 100th birthday on August 13. On this occasion, Otto’s wife Maren has announced the establishment of the “Werner and Maren Otto Foundation“ in Berlin. The foundation, which is endowed with five million euro, has the aim of supporting indigent seniors in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Maren Otto also seized this opportunity to present the first biography about the “Man of the Century“ Werner Otto. As an acknowledgement of his outstanding merits, Werner Otto also received the honorary citizenship of Berlin from the hands of the capital’s Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit.
The founder of ECE, an organisation designing and building shopping malls, and Otto Mail-Order Company (now renamed Otto Group) as well as numerous other enterprises all over the world is one of the very view still living economic pioneers, who have been shaping the economic, sociopolitical and social development of the Federal Republic of Germany for the past 50 years with visionary power, distinct inventiveness and great entrepreneurial courage. It was also Otto, who brought the concept of shopping centers from the USA to Germany.
The Otto Group (founded in 1949) as well as ECE (founded in 1965) are owned by the Otto family to this day and are managed by Werner Otto’s sons Dr. Michael Otto (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group) and Alexander Otto (Chairman of the ECE Board).