SAP's CEO Resigns

Forrester had heard rumors of restructuring at SAP before the announcement on February 7th that SAP’s CEO Leo Apotheker has resigned with immediate effect.

The return to joint CEOs with Jim Haggemann-Snabe running product and Bill McDermott running sales is likely to help in focusing on improvements in the field to restore SAP's sales fortunes in a tough market.

The announcement that Vishal Sikka, Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed to the SAP Executive Board may reflects a concern about SAP's ability to innovate - or at least to persuade the Executive Board that it has a clear innovation direction. Forrester analysts like Paul Hammerman have been following these concerns since SAP’s split with Shai Agassi.

Forrester noted the press release also mentioned co founder Hasso Plattner:  

"At the request of the SAP Supervisory Board, Hasso Plattner, Co-Founder of SAP and Chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, will continue to play a strong role in advising the new leaders on technology and product development."

This is probably very re assuring to the old guard SAP users - but does it cut any mustard with the new name targets (in SMB)?  

Jim Haggemann-Snabe is a long time SAP employee and joined in 1990. Since July 2008 he has been leading the Business Solutions & Technology organization, responsible for product development of large enterprise solutions, SME solutions, and the technology platform.  

This seems an enormous scope. Forrester wonders if Vishal Sikka will assume more of a technology responsibility and Jim will focus more on solutions for SMB? He does seem to have a good sales and channel background.