Leo Apotheker, CEO of SAP has resigned with immediate effect according to a company statement on Sunday evening. SAP has just failed to come to terms with the new (to them) concept of SaaS. Apotheker became CEO after the company abandoned a joint leadership structure at the beginning of last year.
“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,” SAP Company Statement
The company will now have two co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, both SAP veterans.
The main problem for SAP is it just hasn’t been able to react to the rise of organisations like Salesforce who have increasingly been targeting their customer base. It is a highly political organisation and has had no clear leadership for years. Salesforce and others by contrast have far stronger leadership that have managed to focus their organisations around beating other organisations – SAP included. SAP’s new return to a multi-headed leadership structure is almost guaranteed to ensure that its inexorable decline will continue.