As expected, SAP has nominated Léo Apotheker to be co-CEO along with Henning Kagermann. It is highly likely that Kagermann will step down from the position in 2009, leaving Apotheker in sole charge of SAP.
Apotheker’s tenure at SAP began in 1995, when he founded and led SAP France and later Belgium. Apotheker led SAP’s Southwest Europe region from 1997 to 1999, and afterwards served as President of SAP EMEA (1999 to 2002). In 2002, Apotheker became President of Global Customer Solutions & Operations. Along with Shai Agassi, who joined SAP in 2001, Apotheker represented the company’s new blood. Agassi, an early contender for the position Apotheker now occupies, bowed out of SAP last year, leaving the future to Apotheker.
Apotheker will become the first non-SAP founder to lead the company. Born in Germany to immigrant Jewish parents, fluent in five languages, and resident of Paris, Apotheker is considerably more cosmopolitan than SAP’s past leaders, and his accession to the top spot is one more indicator that Walldorf is giving way to the world.
Demir Barlas, Site Editor