SAP chief executive Léo Apotheker has departed the firm after "a mutual agreement" with the vendor's Supervisory Board not to extend his contract.
The software behemoth announced yesterday that Apotheker was leaving the company after 20 years. He rose to become co-chief executive two years ago and last year assumed sole responsibility for leading the company.
He is replaced at the top by another partnership, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, who will serve as co-chief executives. McDermott previously served as SAP's head of field organisation, while Snabe steps up from a role as head of product development.
Chief technology officer Vishal Sikka has also taken a step up, having been appointed to the Executive Board. SAP indicated that company co-founder and current chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hasso Plattner, will play a key role in setting the company's strategy.
Plattner's peers on the Supervisory Board have requested that he "continue to play a strong role in advising the new leaders on technology and product development". The board also took time to wish Apotheker well and express their gratitude "for his enormous contribution to the success of SAP".
Plattner said: "“The new setup of the SAP Executive Board will allow SAP to better align product innovation with customer needs. The new leadership team will continue to drive forward SAP’s strategy and focus on profitable growth, and will deliver its innovations in 2010 to expand SAP’s leadership of the business software market."
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