SAP Broadens Executive Board

After years of massive investments and the successful launch of innovations in the areas of service-oriented architecture, new solutions, and business models for the midmarket – as well as the use of main memory databases and modern analytics, SAP now faces the task of boosting the application of these innovations among its customers and end users.

With Bill McDermott, Jim Hagemann Snabe, and Erwin Gunst, three proven market experts will gain executive board functions. In the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO), Gunst will aim to further improve the company’s operations and process efficiency. McDermott will have responsibility for all sales regions worldwide, and Snabe will have full development responsibility for SAP Business Suite and the SAP NetWeaver technology platform.

With Snabe’s appointment, SAP customers now have a board-level representative responsible for driving SAP’s core business with SAP Business Suite and for the development of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. Snabe has been with the company for more than fifteen years, having held various management positions in sales, consulting, and development, including managing director of the SAP Nordic region and general manager for industry solutions development globally. In his new role, Snabe will focus on bringing SAP’s development efforts even closer to the market.
Four questions to Jim Hagemann Snabe:

Mr. Snabe, how will SAP’s customers benefit from your newly established board area?

Snabe: In my board area, we will bring the development efforts much closer to the market and more proactively interact with our customers to ensure that we build the right solutions in a way that our customers appreciate.

What impact will your organization have on SAP’s product strategy?

Our solutions solve complex business problems for our customers and we are known for delivering scalable and robust software supporting mission critical business processes. I would like to add agility and ease of consumption. By adding these elements we can give customers easier and faster access to innovations. I think our role is to understand industry-specific business processes and come up with assemblies of solutions that are end-to-end best practices, rather than just the parts. We are already working on this vision, but we can do a much better job in helping our customers become best run business.

What challenges do you see?

As mentioned, we are able to solve complex problems in a robust way. I want to add the passion for hiding the complexity, so our solutions – even if they handle complex processes – become simple on the surface. I see that passion in products from Apple for example. We need to go that last mile in terms of hiding complexity by increasing our efforts to understand how our products look from the consumer and end-user perspective – and make our solutions more easy and exciting to use. The experiences and technologies from Business Objects are real assets for us to achieve this. Reliable software that is innovative and easy to consume is a powerful combination.

How does it feel to be elected to the Executive Board?

I’m excited about the opportunity to be in a team with very strong people whom I respect. I feel we have a chance to lift SAP to something even better. I believe that it is the ambition of the team as well. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with this ambitious group to advance the future of SAP and our customers.