Bangalore: In a move to prepare a smooth management transition at the top, SAP AG, today announced the appointment of board member and deputy chief executive, Léo Apotheker as the company's co-CEO to serve alongside SAP CEO Henning Kagermann, effective immediately.
The decision was made today at a regular meeting of the SAP supervisory board.
The supervisory board also appointed corporate officers Erwin Gunst, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe to the SAP Executive Board. The three new appoints will be effective from 1 July 2008.
According to a company statement, with a little over a year remaining in his tenure as CEO of SAP, Henning Kagermann apparently requested that the supervisory board appoint Léo Apotheker as co-CEO in order to prepare him as his successor in the best possible way.
SAP says Kagermann and Apotheker will continue their close collaboration of the previous years to focus the company on continued profitable growth and on providing innovative solutions to a growing market.
Apotheker joined SAP in 1988 and had held the position of SAP deputy CEO of SAP AG since March 2007 and has been a member of the SAP AG executive board and president of global customer solutions and operations (CSO) since 2002.
Prior to that role he was CEO and founder of SAP France and SAP Belgium (1995-1997) and President of SAP's South West Europe region.
With more than 46,100 customers running SAP applications across 120 countries in the world, the company is the world's leading provider of business software providing applications -from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small businesses and midsize companies to suite offerings for global organisations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector.