SAP veterans Dilipkumar Khandelwal, Managing Director of SAP Labs India, Robert Enslin, President of its Cloud Business Group, and Bernd Leukert, Executive Board Member and a co-lead of the SAP Digital Business Services, have also left the German software giant this year.
SAP veterans Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein were named as co-CEOs effective immediately following the announcement of the esteemed SAP CEO Bill McDermott’s non-renewal of contract. Mc Dermott will remain in the company as an advisor until the end of the year for a smoother leadership transition.
Citigroup analysts including Walter Pritchard said in a note that though McDermott’s departure came as a surprise, Morgan and Klein were already on investors’ “short-list” to take over in the future.
During a conference call after the announcement, McDermott said:
“The decision was made based on my determination that 10 years is a long time to be CEO.”
“You get to the point when you have done what you set out to do and then some,” he added.
Now that the announcement was officially made, SAP activates its leadership succession plan, designed to preserve continuity and empower its next-generation leaders in advance of the formal kickoff to the calendar year 2020.
Professor Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP SE, said:
“As they have already demonstrated, Jennifer and Christian complement each other perfectly and will be strong co-CEOs, a leadership model that is time-tested at SAP with multiple prior instances of success.”
Both Morgan and Klein are SAP veterans with decades of experience in the enterprise applications software industry.
Morgan, 48, has recently been the President of the Cloud Business Group, overseeing Qualtrics, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Customer Experience, and SAP Concur. She joined the company in 2004 and was named an Executive Board member in 2017.
“I could not be more grateful to Hasso Plattner and the Supervisory Board for placing their trust in me and Christian to lead this next chapter for SAP. We accept the challenge with a high degree of humility, but also with a sincere belief that the best is yet to come for SAP. We have the finest, most talented colleagues in the world who give us so much confidence in the road ahead. Bill McDermott has been not only a tremendous leader but also a mentor and a role model for so many of us. In Bill, we stand on the shoulders of a giant and look forward to building on his legacy of success,” Morgan said.
Klein, 39, has recently served as the SAP’s Chief Operating Officer, also overseeing product development for the flagship ERP solution SAP S/4HANA. Before that, he worked as SAP SuccessFactors CFO and as SAP Chief Controlling Officer. In 2018, he was appointed to the Executive Board in 2018 after being in the company for over two decades as a student.
“As someone who began my career in the halls of SAP, this is the highest honor I can imagine to become co-CEO together with Jennifer. Hasso Plattner has given us a tremendous opportunity and we are truly thankful to him and the Supervisory Board. SAP has the most comprehensive solution portfolio in the industry. We have an unprecedented opportunity to finish what we started and deliver the intelligent enterprise. This will be the best way to honor our predecessor, Bill McDermott. We will always strive to be leaders who bring out the best in people like Bill has always done,” said Klein.
With regards to McDermott’s future plans, he said:
“I will do something at some point. But today’s SAP’s day. There is no doubt in my mind the future of SAP is even brighter now.”