The software mogul said on Tuesday evening that he decided to take part in "The Giving Pledge," which legendary US investor Buffett and Microsoft founder Gates set up to persuade billionaires to donate at least half their fortunes to charity either while they are alive or after they die. Buffett has said the pledge "is not a legal contract, it is moral promise."
Plattner, 69, is said by Forbes magazine to be worth around €5.4 billion. In a letter announcing his decision to give away his fortune, he said he had benefitted from being able to study for practically nothing at Karlsruhe University, which he described as one of the best technical colleges in Germany. "This was without question the basis of my personal success," he said.
And although he said he still felt a duty to SAP, "I also want to give back something to the society which made my education possible. The foundation is a possibility to do both."
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Plannter said, “I am happy to be a member of The Giving Pledge. In this role I will leverage the entire capital of my foundation with its focus on education, culture, and health in the spirit of the worldwide aspirations of The Giving Pledge.
"Education and Health are essential prerequisites for people to lead their lives with purpose and success. “
SAP is a leading producer of business software with an annual turnover of around €16.22 billion, with more than 232,000 customers around the world.
Eleven other billionaires made "The Giving Pledge" along with Plattner, including British businessman Richard Branson and Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Wednesday.