SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira dies

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(Reuters) – Klaus Tschira, one of the co-founders of software giant SAP, has died unexpectedly at the age of 74, his foundation said on .

Tschira, a trained physicist, left IBM to found SAP in 1972 together with four IBM colleagues: Hasso Plattner, who is still the company’ chairman, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther.

The German software company began by developing software that could process data in real time rather than overnight in batches, and went in 1988.

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It is now Europe’s biggest company, with of 17.6 billion euros ($18.9 billion), market capitalization of 82.3 billion euros and than 74,000 employees in 2014.

Tschira, a billionaire, stepped down SAP’s supervisory board in 2007.

He was married to Gerda Tschira and had two sons.