Business software vendor advances plans to consolidate the co-CEO role in response to COVID-19
SAP once again has just one CEO. The Germany-based company announced yesterday that Jennifer Morgan is departing at the end of the month and leaving leadership solely in the hands of Christian Klein.
The Lowdown: In a statement announcing the change, SAP said the company needs swift and expeditious decision-making and action at a time like now when conditions are changing rapidly.
The Details: Morgan, who became the co-CEO in October 2019, will leave the company at the end of April. Klein will assume full responsibility as CEO and remain a member of the supervisory board. Consolidating the role was always the plan but has now been expedited because of the pandemic and global economic crisis.
The Impact: The change in SAP leadership is not expected to change the company’s strategic direction or channel programs. For more than a year, SAP has shifted its focus to a customer-centric model. Correspondingly, SAP’s channel program is shifting to incorporate more customer experience elements.
Background: Morgan and Klein ascended to the co-CEO role in October 2019 when then-CEO Bill McDermott resigned. Morgan and Klein assumed the role with long experience and service within the SAP organization. Morgan was the president of the Cloud Business Group and served on the executive board since 2017.
The Buzz: “I am grateful to Jennifer for her leadership of SAP, including all she has done for the company, our people, and our customers,” said Professor Hasso Plattner, chairman of the supervisory board of SAP SE. “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.”
“I’d like to thank Jennifer for her partnership over many years,” said Christian Klein, CEO of SAP SE and member of the executive board. “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.”
“It has been a great privilege to drive SAP’s growth and innovation in so many areas and most recently as co-CEO,” said 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. I would like to thank Hasso Plattner 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.”