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SAP Appoints Industry Expert Cathy Smith to Lead Africa

Press Release | March 12, 2018 by SAP News

JOHANNESBURG — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the appointment of Cathy Smith as managing director of SAP Africa.

Cathy brings more than 25 years of leadership and technology experience to the role and is the first female leader of SAP Africa.

Cathy Smith

Steve Tzikakis, regional president for EMEA South at SAP, says Cathy is an experienced and inspirational leader who joins the business at an exciting time in the continent’s history: “Africa is on the cusp of exponential growth and development enabled by digital technologies. As one of the foremost experts in driving digital transformation on the continent, Cathy is imminently suited to leading our Africa operations. We have great confidence in her ability to realize our innovation vision across our customer base.”

Cathy joins SAP from Cisco, where she was managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa, leading the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region. Prior to that, she spent 23 years at IBM in a variety of leadership roles. As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Cathy is also committed to developing the next generation of value-based African leaders, capable of guiding and leading their countries as they balance the demands of globalization with local visions of a sustainable society.

Supported by Steve and the newly bolstered SAP South Africa Board*, Cathy assumes the responsibilities of her new role today.

“Augmenting a culture of leadership, high performance and accountability, both internally and externally, is the core of Cathy’s mandate. This appointment also reaffirms SAP’s commitment to empowering women in leadership and is in line with the company’s dedication to furthering South Africa’s employment equity and transformation agenda,” adds Steve.

Cathy takes over from Claas Kuehnemann, who took on the role of acting managing director for SAP Africa over the past eight months and who now assumes a new leadership position with SAP in Switzerland. Claas will remain closely allied with SAP Africa as he will continue to be a non-executive director on the SAP South Africa Board*.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

*SAP South Africa Board:
Executive Directors: Cathy Smith; Mehmood Khan; Peter David; Candice Govender
Non-Executive Directors: Claas Kuehnemann; Lufuno Nevhutalo; Faith Masilo

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 378,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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