Inside Executive Changes at SAPBy Renee Boucher Ferguson | Posted 2008-04-03 Print
The appointment of Leo Apotheker as SAP co-CEO signals a shift in the company's focus to boosting sales and profit margins.
The appointment of Leo Apotheker as co-CEO of SAP signals much more than the impending retirement of incumbent CEO Henning Kagermann in 2009. It signals a sea change in the company’s business plans as it shifts its effort from making huge investments in new software products and acquiring companies to reaping the highest possible profit margins from those investments.
SAP’s executive shuffle itself comes as no surprise. It’s been expected that Apotheker, who was appointed deputy CEO in March 2007, would take over sole possession of Kagermann’s CEO role when his contract expires in 2009.
It’s also been expected that SAP would appoint several new executives to its Supervisory Board as the company changes its business focus. But the appointment of Apotheker, whose roots run deep in sales and marketing, is perhaps the best indicator that the company is shifting its focus from software development to sales and customer service.
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