Cofounded German software firm SAP with four former IBM colleagues in 1972. Retired in May 2003 after 30 years as Its chief executive; now head of supervisory board. 2009 sales fell 8% to $15.2 billion and profits were down 10% to $2.4 billion. Company has restructured to regain its market lead; stock up 30% in a year. In November 2010, SAP lost a copyright infringement court battle against American software rival Oracle (headed by billionaire Larry Ellison) worth $1.3 billion; SAP is contesting the outcome. Sports enthusiast sails his Morning Glory yacht competitively; skis, snowboards, plays golf and tennis. Owns luxury golf course and hotel, Fancourt Estate, in South Africa's Western Cape province. His Hasso Plattner Ventures, based in Potsdam, incubates promising technology companies. One of Germany's largest philanthropists. In 1998 donated 2.1 million SAP shares then worth $1.5 billion to establish the Hasso Plattner Foerderstiftung (foundation) which supports the sciences, historical preservation and projects in South Africa focusing on underprivileged children and teenagers.