Shai Agassi, once seen as a front-runner to replace Henning Kagermann as CEO of SAP, resigned from the software maker March 28, setting off an executive shake-up at the company. Agassi, president of SAPs product and technology group, is leaving SAP to tackle climate and global energy issues, according to SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner.
Plattner said at a press conference that Agassis departure stems more from SAPs board extending Kagermanns CEO contract to 2009, leaving Agassi in his lesser position for another two years, and not from Oracles lawsuit against SAP or SAPs two missed quarters in fiscal 2006.
"What happened is I shared my plan with Shai that he should become co-CEO with [Leo] Apotheker [president of SAPs Global Customer Solutions & Operations]," Plattner said. "When I asked Henning if he could stay until mid-2009—we will launch a new product—Henning agreed. It became apparent to Shai that he was not comfortable committing a long-term, 10- or 15-year period to SAP and responded that I should not consider him for the co-CEO or CEO position."
Apotheker was named deputy CEO, alongside Kagermann, March 28. Plattner said Agassis departure—despite his position as chief architect—would have no impact on the development of A1S, a new midmarket software suite. "We have only disclosed that we will come out with the product this year, so [Agassis leaving] will not impact us at all," he said.