Its Official, If You Work for SAP Its Ok to Lie About Having a PhD

Executive Summary

  • Hasso Plattner has been lying about his Ph.D. for decades.
  • However, according to one SAP resource, lying about one’s Ph.D. is not a bad thing.


In our article, Does Hasso Plattner Have a PhD?, we outlined the fact that Hasso’s PhDs are honorary, but are presented as real.

Curiously, we received pushback on this from an SAP consultant.

“You really must have run out of real arguments against SAP in what feels what a personal vendetta? It’s quite simple: If you earn a Doctorate (incl h.c.) from an accredited university, then, in Germany, you can chose to add it to your ID/passport. Many people do and use it as if part of the name -some say not to do so would be uncourteous to the organisation you received an hc from. It is as outdated as are the Sirs in Britain or the bowing angle corresponding to social hierarchy in Japan and if you ask me, whether it adds value: certainly not. There are much higher achievements than Dr. hc or PhD that don’t get the same attention. But it is legal, not fishy at all and in line with normal custom. But really, it’s all a non-issue: someone uses an old fashioned pre-fix to his name. He never claimed to be something he isn’t. If some people thought he has a real PhD, they didn’t buy his software for this reason and he was long past the point, where his academic achievement mattered for career progression. So, what’s the fuzz? On his hon Professorship: he was a visiting professor at my Uni – we learned more from him than from any of the ivory tower products with PhD. Nothing fake about this – he really did it.” – Sven Ringling

Ding Ding Ding!

Sven Ringling gets our Golden Pinocchio Award.


What Sven leaves out of the analysis is why Hasso did it. If it made no difference, why did Hasso present a fictitious Ph.D. as real? No one would do that as honorary doctorates aren’t relevant. He did it for one reason, to borrow from the authority of academia. 

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Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

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