Bill 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,” said 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.”
“Every CEO dreams of being able to transition a company to its next generation from a position of significant strength,” said 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.”
Klein and Morgan to succeed Bill McDermott
With the formal endorsement of the Supervisory Board, the company activates its leadership succession plan, appointing Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein as new co-CEOs of SAP.
“As they have already demonstrated, Jennifer and Christian complement each other perfectly and will be strong co-CEOs, a leadership model that is time-tested at SAP with multiple prior instances of success,” Plattner added.
Morgan and Klein bring decades of experience in the enterprise applications software industry. Both serve on the Executive Board. Morgan, who joined SAP in 2004, most recently served as president of the Cloud Business Group, overseeing Qualtrics, SuccessFactors, Ariba, Fieldglass, Customer Experience and Concur. She was named an Executive Board member in 2017.
Morgan said, “I could not be more grateful to Hasso Plattner and the Supervisory Board for placing their trust in me and Christian to lead this next chapter for SAP. We accept the challenge with a high degree of humility, but also with a sincere belief that the best is yet to come for SAP. We have the finest, most talented colleagues in the world who give us so much confidence in the road ahead. Bill McDermott has been not only a tremendous leader, but a mentor and a role model for so many of us. In Bill, we stand on the shoulders of a giant and look forward to building on his legacy of success.”
Klein, who started his career at SAP two decades ago as a student, most recently served as the company’s chief operating officer, also overseeing product development for the flagship ERP solution S/4 Hana. Previously, he worked as SAP SuccessFactors chief financial officer and as SAP chief controlling officer. Klein was appointed to the Executive Board in 2018.
Klein said, “As someone who began my career in the halls of SAP, this is the highest honor I can imagine to become co-CEO together with Jennifer. Hasso Plattner has given us a tremendous opportunity and we are truly thankful to him and the Supervisory Board. SAP has the most comprehensive solution portfolio in the industry. We have an unprecedented opportunity to finish what we started and deliver the intelligent enterprise. This will be the best way to honor our predecessor, Bill McDermott. We will always strive to be leaders who bring out the best in people like Bill has always done.”