SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker has resigned with immediate effect just seven months after taking over as sole chief executive.
SAP said late on Sunday it would return to split leadership with Bill McDermott, head of field organization and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development, both already members of the SAP Executive Board, taking the helm.
The world's largest business-software company said the departure was by mutual consent and did not give a reason for the change at the top.
“When you look at SAP’s performance in 2009, it was really dismal, from a financial perspective,” said Phil Hamerman, an analyst with Forrester Research in Virginia. “I think the 2009 earnings call less than two weeks ago signaled the beginning of the end of Apotheker. Apotheker projected a persona that was defensive rather than a man of vision.”
SAP’s software license revenue fell 28 percent in 2009, after rising for years. Total revenue fell 8 percent to 10.67 billion euros ($14.6 billion). SAP needs to look outside the company for new ideas to revive growth, Hamerman said.
“I don’t necessarily think SAP insiders can turn the company around,” he said “The company could benefit from new blood at this point.”