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SAP CEO Bill McDermott Steps Down

SAP CEO Bill McDermott

image: SAP

SAP has announced a new leadership change that involves Bill McDermott, its CEO for nine years running, stepping down from that position. McDermott has stepped down (effective already) after 9 years as CEO, 11 years as a member of its executive board, and 17 years in total at the German software giant. SAP executives Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein have succeeded McDermott as co-CEOs, adopting a leadership method (co-CEO structure) that's known to be followed by two other software giants; Oracle and Salesforce. McDermott will remain in advisory role until the end of this year to ensure a smooth transition.

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“Every CEO dreams of being able to transition a company to its next generation from a position of significant strength,” McDermott said in a statement. “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. 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. I look forward to supporting them as they finish 2019 and lay the foundation for 2020 and beyond...” he said.

Before becoming CEO, McDermott served as SAP's head of North America and also led its customer operations worldwide. Under his leadership, SAP saw significant growth fueled in part by acquisitions and a shift to cloud computing. Over the years, SAP made some big acquisitions, a recent being Qualtrics, which it scooped up for $8 billion last year. McDermott's SAP era witnessed substantial growth in revenue, profits and market value alongside some other key business metrics.

Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein, SAP's new co-CEOs, have decades of experience at SAP between them. Morgan joined the German software giant in 2004, and most recently served as president of its Cloud Business Group, a role that entails oversight over several business divisions. Similarly, Klein began working at SAP two decades ago, rising up from a student to the role of COO. Before becoming COO, he served as CFO for SAP SuccessFactors and as chief controlling officer for SAP.

Christian Klein
image: SAP

Jennifer Morgan
image: SAP

“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(SAP's co-founder and chairman) has given us a tremendous opportunity and we are truly thankful to him and the Supervisory Board.” Klein said in a statement.

“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.” he said.

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