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Chủ Nhật, 21 tháng 7, 2013

American Bill McDermott to Be Sole SAP CEO - Wall Street Journal

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Corporate software giant SAP AG said Sunday that Jim Hagemann Snabe, who has been co-chief executive since 2010, plans to transition out of his post next May, leaving American Co-CEO Bill McDermott as sole chief of the German company.

Mr. McDermott, who has worked for SAP since 2002, will be the first American full CEO of the 41-year-old company, which makes largely invisible but critical software that helps big companies maintain their financial records, keep tabs on their supply chains and store information on employees.

As Mr. Snabe steps down from the CEO role, SAP said it will seek to add him to the company's supervisory board at the next annual stockholder meeting in May. SAP said 25% of the company's shareholders must vote to accept the move.

SAP said it was a personal decision for Mr. Snabe, 47 years old, to give up the corner office. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

"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," Mr. Snabe said in a news release.

SAP declined to make either Mr. McDermott or Mr. Snabe available for interviews.

Messrs. McDermott and Snabe were named co-CEOs in Feb. 2010, and one of their first major tasks was to defuse a customer revolt over a major price increase. They have also sought to counter SAP's reputation for clunky, complicated software by moving key SAP products to a new type of database that SAP calls HANA. The sector is highly competitive.

It is rare for major corporations to split the post of chief executive. The SAP bosses have carved up separate kingdoms, with Mr. McDermott leading SAP's huge sales force and Mr. Snabe overseeing product development.

Mr. Snabe lives in Denmark, while Mr. McDermott is based at SAP's U.S. headquarters near Philadelphia.

SAP's revenue last year was €16.2 billion ($21.3 billion), up from about €11 billion in 2009. The company's U.S.-listed American depositary receipts have risen about 55% since the beginning of 2010.

The new SAP post will be a milestone for the 51-year-old Mr. McDermott, who grew up on New York's Long Island and built a nest egg from the profits of a deli he bought as a teenager. After college, McDermott honed his reputation as a sales whiz at Xerox Corp. and then at business-software maker Siebel Systems. He jumped to SAP in 2002 to head North America operations

Write to Shira Ovide at

A version of this article appeared July 21, 2013, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: SAP to Have One CEO, an American.

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