Agassi, Sikka, Leukert, Mueller
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Agassi, Sikka, Leukert, Mueller

Those familiar with SAP’s history will feel a little queasy by now - and like they are having a déjà-vu.

Professor Hasso Plattner met Shai Agassi, and the two hit it off. Plattner announced that Agassi was now SAP’s CTO, and became his mentor behind the scenes. However, it wasn’t long before their relationship broke off.

That’s because Hasso Plattner noticed the mathematician Vishal Sikka in Palo Alto, California. Agassi was forgotten, and Plattner made Sikka the new CTO of SAP. Vishal Sikka was the one to present the database Hana and wanted it to go open source, as continuation of SAP MaxDB. However, he never got to see that, as he had to go rather abruptly.

Friday there were rumors, Sunday there was an announcement: Bernd Leukert was to be SAP’s new CTO. That was 2014. And since midnight on the 21st of February, Leukert’s position has been revoked. SAP’s newest addition in its endless line of CTOs is Juergen Mueller, who got his PhD at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany.

What happened?

Bernd Leukert was supposed to lead the Digital Business Services organizations as executive board member, following Michael Kleinemeier. Former executive board member Gerd Oswald even prepared him for this position, as Kleinemeier was supposed to retire at the end of 2019. However, he decided to stay for one more year.

What will Bernd Leukert do now? Well, as of now, we don’t know. Does Gerd Oswald think that this decision was right? We don’t know that, either. What we do know is that by appointing Juergen Mueller as CTO, SAP just rendered years of HR planning insignificant.

Leukert will not be Kleinemeier’s successor and SAP’s new CTO will not be Bjoern Goerke, but Juergen Mueller. Just goes to show that you should study at the Hasso Plattner Institute if you want to become executive board member.

However, it is rumor that Bjoern Goerke himself will leave SAP altogether and go to work for Google. The year ahead does not look good for SAP CEO Bill McDermott. And if SAP’s stock price does not rise to over 100 euros again, McDermott could lose his job, too.

E-3 Magazine February 2019 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

1 Comment

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  • Nice analysis on how SAP like Saturn devours their own offspring. I very much doubt that Hasso will let Bill go, a disaster of gargantuan proportions would be needed for this to happen.

    Regarding Leukert, Sikka and Agassi, some of Hasso’s pet projects failed with them:

    For Agassi, it was NetWeaver.

    For Sikka, it was HANA (as a platform, as a database, as everything, as it failed in every regard).

    For Leukert, it’s been S/4 and non existing S/4 adoption in the Cloud.

    Mueller will probably survive Hasso after the imminent SAP debacle.

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