Hasso Plattner serves as the majority owner of
Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE). A charter
member of the local ownership group that
purchased the San Jose Sharks from original owner
George Gund III in 2002, Plattner became the
organization’s majority owner in 2010.
A lifelong hockey fan, Plattner intently followed the game at the international
level while growing up in his native Germany. An avid spectator of hockey’s
World Championships each year, he marveled at the exploits of the Soviet Union’s
powerhouse hockey teams in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
On a trip to the Bay Area as co-founder of SAP SE, the world’s largest business
software company, he distinctly recalls the moment his past and future collided
while watching the Sharks play on television in 1993.
“The announcer says (Sergei) Makarov...(Igor) Larionov...(Johan) Garpenlov,”
Plattner recalled. “Not possible – I see two of the top players I watched for more
than 10 years. And here they are.”
And so began Plattner’s affinity for the San Jose Sharks and hockey in the Bay
His passion for the game of hockey and desire to win have been evident during
his tenure as the Sharks majority owner. Under his stewardship, the team earned its
first trip to the Stanley Cup Final (2016), made three appearances in the Western
Conference Final (2010, 2011, 2016), posted four 100+ point seasons.
Plattner affords General Manager Doug Wilson the financial autonomy to ensure
that the Sharks remain among the NHL’s most competitive franchises, authorizing
the Sharks general manager to spend to the NHL’s salary cap, retain and re-sign
the team’s core star players and to pursue other marquee talents through free
agency or trade.
In addition, Plattner has provided resources for the organization’s player
development system to take major steps forward in several areas. In 2014, he
committed the financial backing to re-locate the team’s American Hockey League
(AHL) development affiliate to California in order to enhance the organization’s
ability to oversee and develop prospects. Along with that relocation came a largescale,
facility expansion at Solar4America Ice at San Jose to house the AHL’s San
Jose Barracuda, along with a major cosmetic modernization and renovation to the
Sharks existing practice facilities.
Those investments have paid immediate dividends as the Barracuda have
qualified for the AHL’s Playoffs in each of their three seasons in San Jose, including
advancing to the Western Conference Final in 2017. In addition, several of the
team’s players have been recognized with major League awards and the team has
consistently developed and funneled players to the Sharks NHL roster.
Off the ice, Plattner has authorized several major upgrades to SAP Center,
ensuring the venue remains a world-class facility. Those projects have included
the installation of a permanent dehumidification system to ensure SAP Center is
capable of maintaining the best ice conditions possible in the Bay Area’s temperate
climate, a large-scale upgrade of the building’s roof, as well as the addition of
a state-of-the-art digital media wall on SAP Center’s concourse. In 2017, the
members-only BMW Lounge opened, providing an all-inclusive dining experience
in a luxurious setting on SAP Center’s club level.
For the 2018-19 season, SAP Center has been upgraded with state-of-the-art LED
lighting system, that will improve the look of the game in the building, as well as on
television. It will also allow for an enhanced game presentation production prior
to and during Sharks games.
In Aug. 2017, J.D. Power & Associates, a global market research company,
named the San Jose Sharks as the Bay Area’s top professional sports franchise for
overall fan experience.
Plattner’s most commendable action came in May 2015 by re-committing the
Sharks to the City of San Jose with a ten-year arena management agreement.
The new deal will keep the team at SAP Center at San Jose through 2025, with
the potential to extend the agreement through 2040. His mandate to the SSE’s
management team was to craft a deal quickly and fairly with the city of San Jose,
without the threat of relocation or excessive public subsidy.
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Plattner’s passions in life are sports, business and science. At SAP, he currently
serves as Chairman of the Supervisory Board and as Chief Software Advisor,
where he concentrates on defining the medium and long-term technology strategy
of SAP. He also heads the Technology Committee of the SAP Supervisory Board.
Plattner has received a number of honors recognizing not only his accomplishments
in the business world but his significant track record in giving back to the community.
In 1997, he received the Information Technology Leadership Award for Global
Integration as part of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program. In 1998,
he was inducted into the German Hall of Fame, which honors those who promote
economic and social development in Germany. In 2002, the University of Potsdam
appointed him an Honorary Doctor, and in 2004, an Honorary Professor. In
2001, Time Magazine Europe ranked Plattner #1 on its list of the most important
and influential IT personalities.
Plattner received his master‘s degree in communications engineering from the
University of Karlsruhe. In 1990, the University of Saarbruecken awarded him an
honorary doctorate and in 1994 he was granted an honorary full professorship.
Well known for his philanthropic efforts, Plattner is a leading private patron of
education and research in science and technology. Following his retirement from
day-to-day involvement in SAP, Plattner has devoted his time to the promotion of
science, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as to social and cultural projects.
Under the umbrella of the Hasso Plattner Foundation, he founded the Hasso
Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI) in 1998 at the University of
Potsdam in Germany, and expanded the HPI with a School of Design Thinking in
2007. He not only fully finances the HPI, but is also actively involved as a director,
professor and lecturer in Enterprise Platforms and Integration Concepts.
In 2005, Plattner established the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford
University, informally called the Stanford d.School, which champions methods from
the field of design to help people in every function across every industry become
more innovative. The Stanford d.School has helped champion the world-wide
adoption of Design Thinking, a formal methodology for tackling complex problems
that goes beyond traditional brainstorming by re-framing the problem in humancentric
In addition, Plattner has long been active in the fight against AIDS in South
Along with being a life-long hockey enthusiast, Plattner is an avid competitive
sailor who has participated in numerous 5O5 World Championships, a race for
high-performance two-person sailboats, as well as many offshore races. His top
sports hero is Jesse Owens, the track and field star who captured four gold medals
at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and his top personal hero as Nelson Mandela for his
ability to guide South Africa out of apartheid.