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SAP restructuring: CTO Björn Goerke away from ERP giant

SAP restructuring: CTO Björn Goerke away from ERP giant

SAP announced last January that 4,400 jobs would be lost. CFO Luka Mucic described this as a restructuring that was necessary to make the company fit again. But what not everyone expected, was that a lot of top talent including the CTO would disappear from the software division.

Press agency Reuters reports that Björn Goerke, the CTO and the head of the SAP cloud platform have left. Together with him, the highly respected programmers Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman also left. Both were highly respected by developers of the SAP ecosystem. But for CEO Bill McDermott, this mainly shows that he wants to take SAP out of his comfort zone and the transition to a company that offers a digital platform continues.

Become a Cloud Company

Nine years ago, McDermott came on board and announced that SAP was moving in a completely different direction. However, the company has not yet succeeded in doing so; software licences and support work continue to account for three quarters of the company’s turnover. The new cloud businesses are smaller and growing fast, but have lower margins.

The existing business must be supported with the necessary know-how, says Marco Lenck to Reuters. He is the chairman of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), which represents 3,500 companies. We can see that a lot of people with know-how are leaving the company. This is a trend that should not be extended too much.

Continue restructuring

But for SAP, as far as McDermott is concerned, it is necessary to earn more with his cloud business. For this reason, the company is investing heavily in acquisitions that will enable it to grow that business. This is how Reuters calls the acquisition of Qualtrics last November proof that McDermott is prepared to pay a lot for the talent it needs.

As a result, the number of employees will increase to 100,000 by the end of this year. More new staff will be added than will disappear. According to McDermott, this mainly helps to invest in the most important growth areas and to ensure that other areas are prepared for the future.

Nevertheless, there is strong criticism of McDermott’s plans, especially those of SAP staff. Bill McDermott says we’re a growth company, but where does the growth come from, Bill, besides acquisitions, asks Dennis Howlett, one of the company’s key consultants. He was together with board member Bernd Leukert, the main force behind the programming language that has been at the heart of SAP’s products for decades, and believes that SAP should continue to do what it does best.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.