Poland-born Michael Otto came into the world in 1943. At the time, Poland was occupied by Nazi forces. While his $14.2 billion fortune would make others call him a business tycoon, it isn’t a term he’d choose to call himself. Otto is known for his affable management style and down-to-earth pastimes. He obtained his doctorate degrees from the University of Hamburg and the University of Munich.
Otto Group is the world’s largest mail order company, with $24 billion in sales in fiscal year 2003; Otto is in charge of the corporation. Thanks to a 30% rise in Internet sales last year, Otto also maintains its position as the Web’s second-biggest retailer, behind Amazon.com. Much of his fortune has come from the many properties he and his family own in Germany and overseas in both Canada and the United States. Otto is also an investor in popular home décor company, Crate & Barrel. Earlier in his career, he was a part-owner of Spiegel, Inc. Although Spiegel went into bankruptcy in Spring of 2003, it emerged as Eddie Bauer Holdings and was swallowed by Commerzbank. Otto is currently married with two children.