Inside Executive Changes at SAP

The appointment of Leo Apotheker as co-CEOof SAP signals much more than the impendingretirement of incumbent CEO HenningKagermann in 2009. It signals a sea change in the company?s business plans as it shifts itseffort from making huge investments in new software products and acquiringcompanies to reaping the highest possible profit margins from thoseinvestments.

SAP?s executive shuffle itself comes asno surprise. It?s been expected that Apotheker, who was appointed deputy CEOin March 2007, would take over sole possession of Kagermann?s CEOrole when his contract expires in 2009.

It?s also been expected that SAP wouldappoint several new executives to its Supervisory Board as the company changesits business focus. But the appointment of Apotheker, whose roots run deep in sales andmarketing, is perhaps the best indicator that the company is shifting its focusfrom software development to sales and customer service.

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