Retirement in Sight for SAPs Plattner

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2003-02-05 Print this article Print

SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner will announce his retirement in the next year or two, says company spokeswoman.

Hasso Plattner, SAP AGs co-chairman and CEO, will announce his retirement in the next year or two, according to a spokeswoman for the company. Known as SAPs technology guru, Plattner co-founded the company 31 years ago. It is likely that the supervisory board would appoint Henning Kagermann, current co-chair and CEO, to head the company when Plattner steps down, according to Laurie Doyle Kelly, vice president of corporate public relations at SAP, in Waldorf, Germany.
While initial rumors of Plattners retirement started about two years ago, new allegations came about after a board meeting on Tuesday where Plattner handed over some of his daily technology responsibilities to Shai Agassi.
Agassi is the former founder of TopTier, a portal development company SAP acquired in 2001. He quickly rose in the company to various executive positions, including head of SAP Portals and later mySAP Markets subsidiary when it was merged into one company with Portals last year. When that subsidiary was folded back into SAP, Agassi was named head of the mySAP Technology group that has recently evolved into the Enterprise Services Architecture/NetWeaver group. Based on Tuesdays board decision, 34-year-old Agassi, also an executive board member, will become responsible for all technology development. As part of that transfer, Plattner will cede some of his daily operational responsibilities to Agassi, while maintaining control of corporate strategy, marketing and communications. In his new role Agassi will oversee development for SAPs Enterprise Services Architecture, NetWeaver technology stack, Web Application Server, Business Intelligence and all additional technology from a product point of view that falls under the NetWeaver moniker, excluding applications. While some technologies, including the Web App server, integration platform and portals, originally fell under Agassis direction, others like BI belonged to the Collaborative Applications area headed by Kraus Kreplin, under Plattner. Kreplin will now report to Agassi. The boards move—and Agassis meteoric rise in the German company—generated a great deal of speculation that Agassi is being groomed for the top position when Plattner steps down. Company officials are not confirming that rumor. "Lets let him head up technology for awhile," said SAPs Doyle Kelly. "He just started on Monday. Hes got some time."
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