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Posted by Stefan Ried on August 3, 2010
Software AG announced today a significant change in their executive structure. After the acquisition of webMethods back in 2007, the second largest software vendor in Germany acquired IDS Scheer last year, at topic we explored already in this report.
If you follow Software AG over this time, you might realize that the way CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich runs a post merger process may involve dramatic disruptions in the executive structure of the company. Dave Mitchell, the former webMethods CEO left some months after that acquisition. Today, the Chief Product Officer, Dr. Peter Kürpick surprisingly left the company. Peter was a member of the executive board since 2005, and, although his contract officially runs until 2013, he is leaving at his own request immediately. He stood for the successful turnaround of Software AG’s product strategy and repositioned Software AG from an outmoded mainframe shop into a leading global integration player. The successful merging of Software AG’s mainframe and integration know-how with the newer webMethods product stack into one interoperable integration stack was one of Peter’s major achievements. Peter also took over the responsibility for Software AG’s ETS (mainframe) product strategy after the integration business reached a solid stability. He would have had the skills and experience to create a consistent technology stack spanning from the mainframe over the WebMethods integration up to the business architecture tools of IDS Scheer (ARIS).
If each major revenue driver would have been represented in Software AG’s executive board, the Software AG/webMethods part should continue to contribute the Chief Product Officer, while the IDS Scheer acquisition should bring in the consulting executive. The consulting services were actually the major contribution of the IDS Scheer acquisition and not the ARIS product as explored already in this report.
However, the new board structure puts Dr. Wolfram Jost in charge of Software AG’s overall product responsibility with quarterly revenue far beyond €100 million. This is a huge challenge for him compared with his responsibility of the €17 million ARIS volume in Q1 2009 before the acquisition.
Source: Forrester Report
The new structure introduces two executive boards. The executive board is the official legal function of a German AG board (Vorstand) and holds only four members (Streibich, Zinnhardt, Broadband and Jost). Secondly, the group executive board (GEB) is a Software AG internal management structure that holds these 8 members:
Chairman of the board and GEB: Karl-Heinz Streibich
Chief Financial Officer: Arnd Zinnhardt
COO EMEA (excl. DACH): David Broadbent
CTO R&D and Product Management & Marketing: Dr. Wolfram Jost
CEO Americas & APJ: Mark Edwards
Bereichsvorstand* DACH (Germany, Austria Switzerland): Kamyar Niroumand
Bereichsvorstand* Global Consulting Services: Ivo Totev
Bereichsvorstand* IDS Scheer Consulting: Josef Bommersbach
(“Bereichsvorstand” means an executive for a specific business unit.)
Although the staffing of executive boards is a highly emotional and personal issue, it indicates a significant shift in Software AG’s strategy and bears major risks:
Please leave a comment with your opinion of Software AG’s management change.
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