SAP co-chief executive Jim Hagemann Snabe has announced his intention to step down from the role, leaving partner Bill McDermott to lead the company forward.
Since 2010 the firm has been led by Hagemann Snabe and McDermott, but Hagemann Snabe said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and so has taken a less hands-on role on the company’s board.
“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 Hagemann Snabe.
McDermott said he was pleased to retain the advice of his partner, but ready to take on the challenge of leading the company forward on his own.
“As co-chief executives, we have a proven track record of making bold decisions that set SAP and our customers up for value and growth,” said McDermott.
“The proposed setup, with Jim joining the Supervisory Board, builds on the strength of our partnership and personal friendship, and will make SAP an even stronger company as we accelerate the transformation of the industry.”
SAP’s setup of having two chief executives is a rare example in the business world, made even rarer by the fact it proved such a successful partnership, given the failings at BlackBerry during their co-chief executive era.
Their work at the company has seen a huge push towards cloud computing and business intelligence tools, such as the Hana platform, although rivals have claimed the firm was slow to embrace the cloud and is losing customers as a result.
SAP’s customers said they would be sad to see Hagemann Snabe go, but were glad he would remain involved in the company, as Philip Adams, chairman of the UK and Ireland SAP User Group, explained.
“Although it’s a shame to see Jim will be leaving the role of co-CEO, we are pleased he’ll be moving onto the Supervisory Board as he’s been a great customer advocate and has had huge passion for making sure SAP delivers the best possible products to us,” said Adam.
“McDermott and Hagemann Snabe have done a good job and initiated an era of better communication with customers.”
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