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SAP Re-engineering

A change of era at SAP as well: Luka Mucic, a veteran, is leaving the ERP world market leader and, similar to ex-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe and his CFO predecessor Werner Brand, he will not be returning to SAP. Gerd Oswald remains an exception.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
March 2, 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Fluctuation on the Executive Board and Supervisory Board

SAP's history is characterized by the simultaneity of continuity and disruption. SAP co-founders such as Professor Hasso Plattner and Gerd Oswald have been a guarantee of stability, trust and success for many years - first on the SAP Executive Board, and currently on the Supervisory Board. Both executives have shaped SAP's successful image over many years and, in some cases, built personal relationships with existing customers. The story is still told in Walldorf that Hasso Plattner not only introduced the software at Porsche, but was also involved in discussions about how to improve a Porsche - after all, he himself was a Porsche driver with a trailer coupling for his sailboat, which was much smaller at the time.

Save yourself who can

An analysis of executive careers at SAP nevertheless reveals a surprising picture: Many successful SAP Executive Board members did not return to SAP with their experience and knowledge after a cooling-off period. The prominent exception in the recent past is Gerd Oswald - a fortunate circumstance for all concerned! Professor Henning Kagermann, Claus Heinrich, Jim Hagemann Snabe, Michael Kleinemeier left the ERP group on good terms. However, they were never seen on the Supervisory Board and, with the exception of Jim Hagemann Snabe, were obviously not up for discussion.

Snabe versus Renjen

In an interview for the Handelsblatt newspaper, Hasso Plattner indicated that one of his preferred candidates as successor was ex-SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe. Snabe apparently turned down the offer at an early stage, because at the end of last year, through the mediation of SAP CEO Christian Klein, the departing Global CEO of Deloitte, Punit Renjen, was approached by Plattner. Punit Renjen is to be elected to the Supervisory Board at the upcoming SAP Annual General Meeting in May and become its head a year later.

Generation change

Punit Renjen was Global CEO of Deloitte from 2015 until his retirement on December 31, 2022. As Global CEO, Punit Renjen developed and implemented the strategy that grew Deloitte's revenue from $35 billion to more than $59 billion in just seven years. Today, Deloitte is one of the leading professional services firms and is said to be one of the best places to work in the world. Deloitte employs 415,000 people in 150 countries and also has a successful partner ecosystem, of which SAP has been a part for over 30 years.

Mr. Renjen is a member of the Leadership Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Business Council. In 2022, he was named "Global Indian of the Year" by the Economic Times and "Great Immigrant, Great American" by the Carnegie Corporation of America. Born and raised in India, Renjen moved to the United States on a Rotary Foundation scholarship to study at Willamette University, graduating with honors with a master's degree in management. After his retirement, he received the honorary title of Deloitte Global CEO Emeritus.

Dual leadership

At the age of 62, Punit Renjen will usher in a new era as Chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board next year. Next year, the new CFO Dominik Asam will also have successfully settled in at SAP, so that an old SAP tradition could be reactivated: dual leadership!

It is an unusual management model for DAX companies, but SAP has had some successful moments with Kagermann and Apotheker, Snabe and McDermott. The last dual leadership of Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein was short-lived, so there is no need for an assessment. Harvard Business Manager of February 2023 writes on page 39: "Power sharing can help leaders keep their egos in check."

The authors in Harvard Business Manager point out an important circumstance that will be a given again at SAP from 2024: "At Oracle and SAP, the co-CEO model was supported by a strong supervisory board chairman who could settle emerging disagreements and provide the necessary focus." Next year, SAP will have a strong supervisory board chairman in Punit Renjen and two strong SAP board members, Christian Klein and Dominik Asam - things can only get better, right?

Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.