Succession planning: SAP names co-CEO, eventual successor to Henning Kagermann

After losing one potential successor to CEO Henning Kagermann, SAP has taken steps to retain another. On Wednesday, the enterprise software giant announced that Leo Apotheker will serve as co-CEO through the remainder of Kagermann’s tenure, which is expected to run through May 2009.

04/02/2008


After losing one potential successor to CEO Henning Kagermann, SAP has taken steps to retain another. On Wednesday, the enterprise software giant announced that Leo Apotheker will serve as co-CEO through the remainder of Kagermann’s tenure, which is expected to run through May 2009.
Apotheker’s previous title was deputy CEO.
This will be the second time SAP has operated under co-CEOs. Hagermman served in that capacity alongside SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner from 1998 to 2003.
Early last year, there was widespread speculation that Hagermann, who turned 60 this past July, would step
When the SAP board instead extended Hagermann’s contract to run through May of next year, Agassi—the chief architect of SAP’s Netweaver integration and business process management platform—decided not to wait around for his chance to run the company. He resigned and has since become involved in alternative energy projects .
Now, SAP is moving on with what company officials expect to be a smooth succession plan. Plattner, who remains chairman of SAP’s advisory board, issued the following statement: "Henning Kagermann requested that the supervisory board appoint Leo Apotheker as co-CEO in order to prepare him as successor in the best possible way during the remainder of Henning's tenure . . . After years of massive investments and the successful launch of trendsetting innovations in the areas of service-oriented architecture, new solutions, and business models . . SAP now faces the task of boosting the application of these innovations among our customers and end users. In my view, Leo Apotheker is an ideal CEO and thus my preferred successor for Henning Kagermann."





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