SAP's Top Cloud Exec Is Out


SAP's top cloud executive is out as a management shake-up at the giant software company continues.

Shawn Price, SAP's president of global cloud and line of business, is stepping down from his post effective immediately, a company spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The spokesman declined to say more about the reasons behind Price's departure.

Price's resignation comes on the heels of the sudden departure earlier this week of Vishal Sikka, SAP's top development executive.

[Related: SAP Reports Strong Cloud, HANA Revenue Growth In Q1]

The management changes come as Bill McDermott, who has shared CEO duties with Jim Hagemann Snabe for several years, is slated to become SAP's sole CEO on May 21 when Snabe leaves the company.

SAP also said earlier this week that Robert Enslin, who leads global customer operations, was promoted to the company's executive board, putting him in a more powerful position.

Price had held the cloud president post only since January. Before that, he was president of SAP's SuccessFactors operations, the cloud human resource management application company SAP acquired in February 2012 for $3.4 billion.

The spokesman said SAP did not plan on filling Price's job given that cloud computing has become a more pervasive part of everything the company does. While SAP was once primarily known for developing on-premise ERP and CRM applications for large companies, the vendor has been refocusing its efforts on marketing cloud-based applications powered by its HANA in-memory computing platform.

Chakib Bouhdary is now managing SAP's cloud-based Ariba Network procurement system, the spokesman said, while Mike Ettling is overseeing the human resource management software business. And Steve Winter is in charge of managing customer line-of-business products.

SAP channel partners are still trying to understand Sikka's departure, given that he was seen as the biggest champion of the HANA technology that's become the linchpin of the company's technology strategy.

Lars Landwehrkamp, CEO of SAP partner All for One Steeb, said Sikka's departure was particularly surprising because Landwehrkamp had just met Sikka about six weeks earlier "and he was really bullish about HANA, cloud and the future with SAP," he said.

SAP named Bernd Leukert to the company's executive board with responsibility for the vendor's global development organization, essentially taking over Sikka's duties.

"We, too, are surprised by this news," said Stephen Loyd, vice president of Vision33, an SAP Gold-level channel partner, speaking about Sikka's departure. Loyd is currently attending an SAP conference in Florida with a focus on HANA and SAP's BusinessOne applications for small businesses. "I'm sure we'll learn more over the next couple of days," he said.

PUBLISHED MAY 7, 2014