Otto Group to integrate innovation functions into its core business

otto group digital solutions | 14.10.2020

The Otto Group Executive Board has decided to bring selected activities of Otto Group Digital Solutions (OGDS) closer to the operational core of the Otto Group’s various business models for strategic reasons.

"Going forward we want to align our extensive know-how regarding innovation and new business models even more specifically and very closely with the respective successful business models within the Group. Our diverse start-up business activities managed via our investment companies E.Ventures and Project A remain unaffected by this decision", emphasises Sebastian Klauke, Otto Group Executive Board Member E-Commerce, Technology, Business Intelligence and Corporate Ventures.

For this reason, the two company-building activities ecom and finlog, managed within Otto Group Digital Solutions (OGDS) as the holding company, will be dissolved in their current form by the end of the financial year. Follow-on employment options within the Otto Group for the twenty-five or so specialists concerned are under intensive consideration.

The single company OTTO has therefore decided to pursue the Venture Client model approach to drive innovation initiatives within its own organisation, initially on a smaller scale. The company-building projects Funnel+, ParcelXP and Trendentify will continue to be led by OTTO, meaning that some OGDS employees may have the option to continue to develop these projects within OTTO.

OGDS will remain a holding company and will continue to serve the OGDS portfolio companies, which include Shopping24, RiskIdent, CollectAI, Adsoul, and ODC. Strategic options for these individual activities will be examined in the coming months. The single company OTTO is also examining options to dock individual business models with the hybrid platform business model.

As part of these restructuring moves, Dr Björn Schäfers has stepped down as Managing Director of OGDS and Shopping24 with effect from 01 October 2020 and has left the Otto Group. Bjorn joined the Otto Group in 2004 as Business Development Project Manager and was appointed Managing Director of Shopping24 GmbH in March 2010. From September 2016 onwards he was one of two Managing Directors at the helm of Otto Group Digital Solutions, which includes Shopping24.

Sebastian Klauke, Otto Group Executive Board Member E-Commerce, Technology, Business Intelligence and Corporate Ventures: "We thank Björn most warmly for his long and highly successful engagement for the Otto Group, particularly at Shopping24 and OGDS. We wish him continued success and all the best for his further career and personal future."

Founded in Germany in 1949, the Otto Group today is a globally active trading and services group with around 52,000 employees in 30 major corporate groups and more than 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its business activities cover the three segments Multichannel Retail, Financial Services and Service. In the financial year 2019/20 (29 February) the Otto Group generated revenues of 14.3 billion euros. With online revenues of around 8.1 billion euros, it is one of the world's largest online retailers. The Group's particular strength lies in its ability to provide a broad presence of various offers to diverse target groups in almost all relevant regions of the world. A large number of strategic partnerships and joint ventures offer the Otto Group excellent conditions for know-how transfer and the use of synergy potential. A high degree of entrepreneurial responsibility and willingness to collaborate on the part of the Group companies guarantee flexibility and customer proximity as well as optimal target group appeal in the respective countries.

Further information on the Otto Group is available at

Press Contact:

Thomas Voigt, +49 40 6461 4010,

Otto Group Digital Solutions

Die Otto Group Digital Solutions (OGDS) ist die Holding für digitale und handelsnahe Dienstleistungsunternehmen und verantwortet wesentliche digitale Serviceunternehmen im Portfolio der Otto Group.