Two CEOs are one too many for SAP

Two CEOs are one too many for SAP

Co-CEO and member of the executive board Jennifer Morgan will depart the company on 30 April

Jennifer Morgan (SAP)

Jennifer Morgan (SAP)

Credit: SAP

Just six months after former SAP CEO Bill McDermott stepped down from the top job, the German software giant is set to farewell one of its two co-CEOs as it adjusts to the current business climate.

Co-CEO and member of the executive board Jennifer Morgan will depart the company on 30 April, after coming to a mutual agreement with SAP’s supervisory board.

The move leaves fellow co-CEO and executive board member Christian Klein in the role as the sole CEO going forward. 

SAP said in a statement that the decision to transition from a co-CEO structure to a sole CEO model was taken earlier than planned to ensure “strong, unambiguous steering in times of an unprecedented crisis”.

According to SAP, the current environment requires companies to take “swift, determined action which is best supported by a very clear leadership structure” -- a sentiment echoed by Morgan. 

“With unprecedented change within the world, it has become clear that now is the right time for the company to transition to a single CEO leading the business,” Morgan said. 

“I would like to thank Hasso Plattner [chairman of the SAP supervisory board], for the opportunity to co-lead this great company, and I wish Christian, the executive board, and SAP’s talented team much success as they drive the company forward,” she added.

Morgan joined SAP in 2004 and was appointed co-CEO, along with Klein, in October 2019, when McDermott announced his departure after nearly 10 years in the top job. McDermott was subsequently named ServiceNow CEO.

Before stepping into the co-CEO role, Morgan, who was named an executive board member in 2017, served as president of the cloud business group, overseeing Qualtrics, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Customer Experience and SAP Concur.

“I’d like to thank Jennifer for her partnership over many years,” Klein said. “Throughout SAP’s transformation, Jennifer has always been laser-focused on customers, partners, shareholders and employees. It’s thanks to her that we have established a strong position in experience management solutions. I know she will always be a champion of SAP.”

For Plattner, it is expected that Klein, as a sole CEO, will be able to navigate the company through the current business climate and its uncertainties.

“I am grateful to Jennifer for her leadership of SAP, including all she has done for the company, our people, and our customers,” said Plattner. “This transition comes at a time of great uncertainty in the world, but I have full faith in Christian’s vision and capabilities in leading SAP forward toward continued profitable growth, innovation, and customer success.”

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