SAP signals cloud intent as it ousts top in-house programmers

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – When business software company SAP announced in January it would lay off 4,400 staff, Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic described the restructuring as a “fitness program” for Europe’s most valuable technology firm. But what some of the German company’s customers didn’t expect was that top software talent would be among those shipping out, rather than shaping up. Gone is Bjoern Goerke, chief technology officer and head of SAP’s cloud platform business, along with programming gurus Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman – both highly respected in the wider SAP developer ecosystem. The departures underscore CEO Bill McDermott’s determination to deliver on his long-stated ambition to drag SAP out of its comfort zone providing old-school enterprise software and complete its transformation into a digital platform business. The shift comes at the risk of alienating core clients, who still account for the bulk of SAP’s business. “The existing business must be supported with the necessary know-how,” said Marco Lenck, chairman of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) which represents 3,500 companies. “We are seeing that a lot of people with know-how are leaving the company. That’s a trend that should not become too extensive.” Nine years into McDermott’s tenure, SAP’s… continue reading

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