Klaus Tschira, 74, who with four former IBM colleagues co-founded Germany's SAP S.E. and helped turn it into one of the world's most influential software companies, died Tuesday, the company said. No further details were given.

Mr. Tschira and the band of International Business Machines Corp. colleagues left in 1972 to start SAP. Over the next three decades, he helped build it into one of a new guard of tech companies that unseated mainframe computers as the industry's dominant force. SAP, along with Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., used powerful software running on affordable computer hardware.

The other co-founders were chairman Hasso Plattner, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, and Claus Wellenreuther. - Bloomberg