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Chủ Nhật, 21 tháng 7, 2013

German Giant SAP to Get One, American CEO - Wall Street Journal (blog)

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Corporate software giant SAP sa id 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.

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

As 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 Snabe, 47, 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,” Snabe said in a news release.

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

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 also have sought to counter SAP’s reputation for clunky, complicated software by moving key SAP products to a cloud-based infrastructure that SAP calls HANA. The sector is highly competitive.

It is rare for major corporations to split the CEO post. The SAP bosses have carved up separate kingdoms, with McDermott leading SAP’s massive sales force, and Snabe overseeing product development. Snabe lives in Denmark, while McDermott is based out of SAP’s U.S. headquarters near Philadelphia.

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

The SAP post is a career capper for the 51-year-old McDermott, who grew up in Long Island, N.Y. 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 and then at business-software maker Siebel Systems. He jumped to SAP in 2002 to head operations in North and South America.

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