Henning Kagermann is staying on as CEO at SAP AG through May 31, 2007, the companys board announced on Feb. 15.
Kagermanns contract was set to expire at the end of the year. The 59-year-old executive will turn 60 in July; under SAPs bylaws, board member who are 60 and older have their employment contracts renewed on an annual basis.
The two-year contract for Kagermann is longer than some industry observers expected, but could be appropriate for SAP as it transitions to both its Enterprise Services Architecture—a roadmap on track to be completed in 2007—and develops a new suite of software for the mid-market.
“Under [Kagermanns] guidance, SAP has significantly extended its global market leadership in the business software space while delivering breakthrough innovation in the software industry,” said Hasso Plattner, a co-founder of SAP and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, in a statement. “We are committed to further pursuing this successful course.”
Kagermann has been with SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, since 1982. He was appointed member of the executive board in 1991. In 1998 he was promoted to the top spot, where he shared the title of co-CEO with Plattner for the next five years. In 2003, Kagermann took over full control of the company.
Its been speculated that any succession discussions at SAP have two names jockeying for the CEO role when Kagermann transitions out: Leo Apotheker and Shai Agassi.
Currently the president of Customer Solutions & Operations, Apotheker has been a member of SAPs executive board since 2002. He is responsible for global sales, consulting, education and training, marketing and operations.
Prior to his current post, Apotheker was president of SAPs Europe, Middle East & Africa region from 1999 to 2002. Hes also served as president of the South West Europe region and was CEO SAP France, which he founded along with SAP Belgium.
Agassi, on the other hand, is a relative upstart with SAP. He joined the company in 2001 when SAP acquired TopTier Software, a company Agassi founded. An entrepreneur and, some say, a breath of fresh air at SAP, Agassi quickly moved up the ranks.
Agassi was initially appointed CEO of SAP Portals (based on TopTier), and later the combined company SAP Markets and SAP Portals, which was at the time a fully owned subsidiary of SAP.
When those organizations were integrated into SAP in 2002, Agassi was appointed to the board. In addition to TopTier, Agassi co-founded several other companies with his father, including Quicksoft Ltd., QuickSoft Media and TopManage (which was also acquired by SAP and is now the basis for Business One, SAPs small business suite).
Apotheker and Agassi will undoubtedly stay on SAPs succession short list the discussion, at least externally, is quelled for the moment.