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SAP CEO Bill McDermott Resigns; Morgan, Klein Named As Co-CEOs

‘When you look at where we were and where we are, I simply could not be prouder of what this company has achieved over the past decade,’ SAP CEO Bill McDermott says of his decision to step down.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott is stepping down, effective immediately, the German enterprise software company said Thursday, leaving the firm in the hands of two executives who will share the role.

SAP executive board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein were appointed co-chief executive officers as part of the company's long-term succession plan, according to the company. McDermott will serve as an advisor to SAP for the rest of the year to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

The company said McDermott (pictured) decided to not renew his contract.

SAP announced the leadership transition at the same time it released preliminary financial results for the third quarter, showing that its new cloud bookings increased 38 percent year-over-year. The company's total revenue, meanwhile, grew 13 percent from the same period last year to 6.79 billion Euros ($7.48 billion).

"Every CEO dreams of being able to transition a company to its next generation from a position of significant strength," McDermott said in a statement. "When you look at where we were and where we are, I simply could not be prouder of what this company has achieved over the past decade. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead one of the world’s finest companies."

McDermott joined SAP in 2002 as head of its North American division. He went on to lead the company's worldwide customer operations and joined SAP's executive board in 2008. Then, in 2010, he became the company's CEO, leading the company through revenue growth, increased profits and improved employee engagement for nearly a decade, according to SAP.

"SAP would not be what it is today without Bill McDermott," Professor Hasso Plattner, chairman of the supervisory board of SAP SE, said in a statement. "Bill made invaluable contributions to this company and he was a main driver of SAP’s transition to the cloud, which will fuel our growth for many years to come. We thank him for everything he has done for SAP."

SAP's new co-CEOs are both longtime veterans of the company. Morgan, who was most recently president of SAP's Cloud Business Group, joined the company in 2004 and has been a member of the executive board since 2017. Klein, who was most recently SAP's COO, joined the company two decades ago and has been part of the executive board since 2018.

"Now is the moment for everyone to begin an exciting new chapter, and I am confident that Jennifer and Christian will do an outstanding job," McDermott said. "I look forward to supporting them as they finish 2019 and lay the foundation for 2020 and beyond. To every customer, partner, shareholder and colleague who invested their trust in SAP, I can only relay my heartfelt gratitude and enduring respect."

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