December 1940 – March 2015
Co-founder of SAP
A trained physicist and amateur astronomer, Tschira played a pioneering role in business software.
Tschira started his professional career at IBM in the mid-1960s, working as a systems analyst and in the emerging field of enterprise software. That led Tschira and several other colleagues to start their own company, called SAP (an acronym for Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing), in 1972.
He and his colleagues built the German company into a multinational corporation that remains one of the dominant players in the enterprise software market. Tschira, who stepped down from the SAP board in 2007, was also active in various charitable activities.
He was 74.