Tech & Science feminist, patchwork mother, IT nerd: How ex-SAP manager Melissa Di Donato wants to bring the German tech company Suse to the stock exchange

13:51  23 february  2021
13:51  23 february  2021 Source:   businessinsider.de

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Melissa Di Donato has always wanted to make history. Now the American with Italian grandparents is on the verge of her greatest achievement to date, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . She is the head of the German-based company Suse - a company that developed the Linux computer operating system. She now wants to go public. In 2019 she took over the management of the company after previously working for the Baden-Württemberg software developer SAP . SAP is the largest European and the third largest publicly traded software company in the world.

Nevertheless, the manager was drawn to the medium-sized company Suse. Greater opportunities to have a strong influence and more freedom were the main reasons why the entrepreneur decided to switch to Suse. Now she is at the head of the company - above her are only the Swedish investors EQT. Melissa Di Donato looks forward to the entry into the stock market that is now being sought. Suse is "a fast growing software company, an exciting German success story". The software services are in many devices and companies, such as in the architecture of electric cars, in the logistics for vaccines, but BMW and Daimler are also among the company's largest customers. That should be a good starting point in the stock market, she says.

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The manager, who grew up in New York, pursues her plans with great zeal. However, it does not neglect the well-being of its employees. The FAZ writes that Melissa Di Donato introduced a day off for all employees on her first day at Suse. This day should be used to devote oneself to charitable or social activities. "Employers must allow employees to give something back," she told the FAZ. She is very involved in the fight against prostate cancer, for example.

She wants to get girls excited about technology

Another important concern of the successful CEO is her commitment to the female child and youth sector. As the chairman of the "30 percent club", which tries to enforce that 30 percent of the top management positions are filled by women, she wants to show young women in particular the opportunities in the IT industry.

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As a software developer and programmer, there is currently a lack of female role models. She wants to counteract this. To do this, she goes to many schools and gives speeches in Great Britain, where she lives with her husband and three children. During the lockdown, she also wrote three children's books. All of the proceeds go to her organization, which wants to get girls interested in the technology industry. You have to start breaking down role models in childhood. At the age of six to seven, stereotypes set in what girls and what boys do, she said.

It wasn't always her dream to become a software developer and programmer. She originally had plans to become the first US ambassador to Moscow. After studying Russian, she moved to Washington DC to work in government. There she found that it was not easy to get to the top and to have a lot of influence. When she heard about a job offer at the software company SAP from her dean of the business school, she began to be interested in the IT industry.

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With the prospect of being able to achieve a lot in the industry, she seized the fascination of the sector and went to Germany, where her career took off. Today the 47-year-old is one of the most successful IT professionals worldwide and one thing is for sure: If she goes public with the billionaire company Suse, she will be the first woman to have achieved that in Germany. By then, at the latest, she will have achieved her goal in life of making history.


melissa-di-donato-smile © PR Suse melissa-di-donato-smile

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