SAP has promoted Leo Apotheker, currently deputy CEO, as co-CEO with Henning Kagermann in preparation for Apotheker's taking the reins of the Walldorf, Germany-based software vendor next spring when Kagermann is scheduled to retire.
Apotheker's elevation is effective immediately, the company announced Wednesday. Kagermann is slated to retire in May, 2009 when his current contract expires.
Apotheker has been widely seen as Kagermann's successor since March 2007 when SAP executive board member Shai Agassi, who many had pegged as Kagermann's eventual successor, left the company when SAP extended Kagermann's contract until May, 2009.
SAP also announced that corporate officers Erwin Gunst, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagermann have been named to the company's executive board.