SAP Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott announced on Thursday afternoon that he is stepping down from his position and will remain with the German software corporation in an advisory capacity until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.
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Following what the company laid out as its long-term succession plan, SAP Executive Board Members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein have been appointed co-chief executive officers, effective immediately - with the approval of the Supervisory Board of SAP SE.
“Every CEO dreams of being able to transition a company to its next generation from a position of significant strength,” said McDermott in a statement released by the company. “When you look at where we were and where we are, I simply could not be prouder of what this company has achieved over the past decade. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead one of the world’s finest companies.”
McDermott joined SAP in 2002, and for the past decade, McDermott has served as CEO and has overseen a period of dramatic growth for SAP, which included the expansion of its portfolio and initiating a major shift to cloud computing. Under McDermott’s leadership, key metrics including market value, revenue, profits, employee engagement and environmental sustainability have all strengthened substantially since 2010.
“SAP would not be what it is today without Bill McDermott,” said Professor Hasso Plattner, chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP SE. “Bill made invaluable contributions to this company and he was a main driver of SAP’s transition to the cloud, which will fuel our growth for many years to come. We thank him for everything he has done for SAP.”
Morgan joined SAP in 2004, and she most recently served as president of the Cloud Business Group, overseeing Qualtrics, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Customer Experience and SAP Concur. She was named an Executive Board member in 2017.
Klein began his career at SAP two decades ago as a student, most recently served as the company’s chief operating officer, also overseeing product development for the flagship ERP solution SAP S/4HANA. Previously, he worked as SAP SuccessFactors chief financial officer and as SAP chief controlling officer. Klein was appointed to the Executive Board in 2018.
“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.” Plattner said. “Bill and I made the decision over a year ago to expand Jennifer and Christian’s roles as part of a long-term process to develop them as our next generation of leaders. We are confident in their vision and capabilities as we take SAP to its next phase of growth and innovation.”
“When you look at where we were and where we are, I simply could not be prouder of what this company has achieved over the past decade"
“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,” Morgan said in a statement.
“SAP has the most comprehensive solution portfolio in the industry,” said Klein. “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.”
“Now is the moment for everyone to begin an exciting new chapter, and I am confident that Jennifer and Christian will do an outstanding job,” said McDermott. “I look forward to supporting them as they finish 2019 and lay the foundation for 2020 and beyond.”