• Germany edition
 
SAP billionaire defies Bill Gates over donation
Photo: DPA

SAP billionaire defies Bill Gates over donation

Published: 21 Feb 2013 11:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Feb 2013 11:04 GMT+01:00

The Giving Pledge, started by Microsoft founder Gates and US investor Warren Buffett to encourage the extremely wealthy to promise to give half their wealth to good causes, announced this week that software mogul Plattner, one of Germany's richest men, had signed up.

But a disgruntled Plattner later said he had made no such commitment to give away half of his money.

"I feel Bill Gates has gone behind my back and used me," Plattner told regional newspaper the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten on Thursday.

The charity had quoted from a letter Plattner had wrote praising the practically free higher education he had received in Germany, and talking about wanting to give something back to society.

He and a handful of other billionaires including British tycoon Richard Branson, had signed up to the pledge, the letter said. A condition of joining is that the new member promises to give away at least half their wealth to good causes, although there is no stipulation of where the money goes.

Plattner, 69, is estimated to be worth more than €5 billion. He started a foundation to promote education and health care around 20 years ago - but has not filled it with half of his fortune, much of which is still tied up in SAP, the software firm he founded.

He said he was furious at The Giving Pledge organizers, telling the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten that he had not signed up, would not be bounced into doing so, as he intended to retain control of both his stake of SAP and how he funded good causes.

Yet on Wednesday evening SAP itself released a statement saying Plattner was pleased to have joined the Gates-Buffett foundation - seemingly contradicting him.

Just a few hours later he repeated his denial that he was signing up to the foundation.

"They can all write that I am a member of the foundation as far as I am concerned. But I know that I do not fulfil the criteria - whatever Bill Gates says. There is less than 20 percent of my fortune in my foundation," he said.

The Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten quoted a spokesman for The Giving Pledge saying that Gates knew about Plattner's social engagement and considered that this fulfilled the criteria.

"Gates will have to explain the rest," Plattner told the paper.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:01 February 21, 2013 by catjones
Plattner being duped by anyone is laughable. Plattner reneging is plausible.
16:29 February 21, 2013 by raandy
Catjones, absolutely agree with that.
03:01 February 22, 2013 by Eric1
It is not Bill Gates' business what Mr. Hasso Plattner does with his money. "Good causes" are usually leftist political groups.
Today's headlines
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,527
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd