SAP CEO Bill McDermott calls it quits

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Bill McDermott, outgoing CEO of SAP.
Bill McDermott, outgoing CEO of SAP.

Bill McDermott, CEO of German-based enterprise software giant SAP, has stepped down.

In a statement, the company says McDermott has decided not to renew his contract and is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer.

In activating the company’s long-term succession plan, SAP executive board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein have been appointed as co-chief executive officers, effective immediately, with the approval of SAP's supervisory board.

McDermott will remain in an advisory capacity until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

“SAP would not be what it is today without Bill McDermott,” says Professor Hasso Plattner, chairman of the supervisory board of SAP.

“Bill made invaluable contributions to this company and he was a main driver of SAP’s transition to the cloud, which will fuel our growth for many years to come. We thank him for everything he has done for SAP.

“We also congratulate Jennifer and Christian for this opportunity to build on the strong foundation we have for the future of SAP. 

"Bill and I made the decision over a year ago to expand Jennifer and Christian’s roles as part of a long-term process to develop them as our next generation of leaders. We are confident in their vision and capabilities as we take SAP to its next phase of growth and innovation,” says Plattner.

“Every CEO dreams of being able to transition a company to its next generation from a position of significant strength,” says McDermott.

“When you look at where we were and where we are, I simply could not be prouder of what this company has achieved over the past decade. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead one of the world’s finest companies.

“Now is the moment for everyone to begin an exciting new chapter, and I am confident that Jennifer and Christian will do an outstanding job. I look forward to supporting them as they finish 2019 and lay the foundation for 2020 and beyond. To every customer, partner, shareholder and colleague who invested their trust in SAP, I can only relay my heartfelt gratitude and enduring respect.”

McDermott joined SAP in 2002. The company points out that as head of North America, McDermott was able to significantly increase its market share in the region, putting the company on its path to becoming a global powerhouse.

It notes he eventually led customer operations worldwide and joined the executive board in 2008.

For the past decade, McDermott has served as CEO and has overseen a period of dramatic growth for SAP, including expanding its portfolio and initiating a major shift to cloud computing.

Under McDermott’s leadership, SAP says, key metrics including market value, revenue, profits, employee engagement and environmental sustainability have all strengthened substantially since 2010.

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