SAP is under the control of CEO Bill McDermott now after co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe stepped down over the weekend to join company co-founder Hasso Plattner on the supervisory board.
Dual CEO's Installed after Apotheker Reign
McDermott and Snabe took over as co-CEOs back in 2010 from the now infamous Leo Apotheker, who eventually went on to lead Hewlett Packard, a move that nearly proved disastrous for HP. Snabe should be able to easily avoid that kind of notoriety as he's decided to accept a seat on SAP's Executive Board alongside enigmatic company co founder Hasso Plattner.
Snabe wants to spend more time with his family, he said in a statement, but the timing for these kinds of moves is never really that great for such a large and high profile company. In a way, it's a sort of odd reflection of the Apotheker days. SAP ousted Apotheker early in 2010, only to go out and spend nearly US$ 6 billion on the Sybase database platform just a few months later.
In a bit of turnabout, Snabe leaves just a month or so after SAP snapped up leading ecommerce vendor hybris for an unknown amount. It's likely to have been a much smaller deal than what SAP paid for Sybase, perhaps in the US$ 1 billion range. However, Snabe no doubt had a hand in the hybris deal, so integrating that technology will have to go on without him at the company's helm.
Reality on the Ground, HANA in the Cloud
When it comes to the biggest enterprise technology companies, it seems big personality's sort of come with the territory. Plattner may not have the brashness of Oracle's Larry Ellison or Salesforce's Marc Benioff, but he's a charismatic leader, and he'll continue to be able to council with Snabe on the Executive Board.
SAP reported lower earnings in the week before Snabe stepped down, it should be noted, and the company's stocks stayed down slightly during trading early this week. Of particular note in the Q2 and first half numbers was the fact the cloud based HANA system performed much lower than expected, a problem SAP attributed to a weak Asian market.