SAP Co-CEO Snabe Plans To Step Down - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Government // Enterprise Architecture
10:31 PM
Connect Directly

SAP Co-CEO Snabe Plans To Step Down

Bill McDermott will become sole CEO by 2014 as Jim Hagemann Snabe moves on and power shifts within SAP's executive team.

 10 IT Leaders You Should Follow On Twitter
10 IT Leaders You Should Follow On Twitter
(click image for larger view)
SAP announced Sunday that Jim Hagemann Snabe, 47, will transition from his role as co-CEO at the conclusion of the company's annual shareholders meeting next May, at which time Bill McDermott will become sole CEO.

"After more than 20 years with SAP, I have decided that it is time for me to begin the next phase of my career, closer to my family," said Snabe in a statement issued by SAP. "What the entire SAP team has achieved since 2010 is remarkable, and the momentum we have built is now driving the transformation of the industry."

The move was made at Snabe's request, according to SAP, and the company will have 10 months to consider the redistribution of Snabe's responsibilities. McDermott and Snabe were thrust into their current roles in early 2010 after former CEO Leo Apotheker was asked to resign after less than a year at the helm. At the time, SAP's financial results were lagging and it was mired in a very public battle over maintenance and support contracts. SAP co-founder, former CEO and chairman Hasso Plattner, who helped engineer the boardroom shakeup, said new leadership would help restore trust, responsiveness and innovation.

Within a few short months, McDermott, previously head of SAP's field organization, and Snabe, previously head of product development, announced the acquisition of Sybase, and the two executives also launched the company's three-pronged cloud, mobile and in-memory innovation strategy, which is credited with driving three years of double-digit growth.

[ Want more on recent SAP management moves? Read SAP Loses 'Cloud DNA' As Lars Dalgaard Steps Down. ]

Leading from the U.S. and Europe, respectively, McDermott, the exuberant American sales veteran, and Snabe, the soft-spoken, multilingual Dane, have complemented each other well. But McDermott has been the more dominant figure, leading off nearly all of SAP's earnings announcements, with Snabe typically mopping up with technical strategy perspectives.

There have been signs of executive discord at SAP in recent months, with Lars Dalgaard resigning from the company's executive board in June and Vishal Sikka, Hasso Plattner's protégé, consolidating control over all development activities. Late last week, Sanjay Poonen, president and corporate officer for SAP technology & innovation products, announced he is leaving the company.

InformationWeek sources, including insiders and former employees, say Plattner and Sikka wield considerable control within SAP, setting product priorities and strategies with little input from others.

Snabe's decision to step down was described as strictly personal, and SAP said that the company will put him on the ballot to join the company's supervisory board next May. If approved, he would serve alongside Plattner and 14 other supervisory board members.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2013 | 7:50:15 PM
re: SAP Co-CEO Snabe Plans To Step Down
Agreed. McDermott was already dominating on articulating the strategy and now that Sikka has so much responsibility for innovation (and plenty of direction from Plattner), Snabe's role was diminished. He's picking a good time to get out, though, as driving growth in the cloud is going to be easier said than done for SAP.
User Rank: Author
7/22/2013 | 3:59:28 PM
re: SAP Co-CEO Snabe Plans To Step Down
I've never been a fan of co-CEOs. It didn't work for RIM in the long run, and it wouldn't have worked for SAP. Big tech companies need one leader articulating one vision.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll