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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

SAP's cloud business head departs amid restructuring of technology giant

Robert Enslin is the latest top executive to leave the company

Several high-profile official at European technology firm SAP have left amid restructuring. Reuters.
Several high-profile official at European technology firm SAP have left amid restructuring. Reuters.

Software company SAP said the head of its cloud business group had decided to leave the company, the latest in a string of top departures as Europe's most valuable technology firm reshapes its operations.

Robert Enslin, who joined SAP in 1992 and had served on its board since 2014, had been tipped by some as a potential successor to chief executive Bill McDermott.

During his two-year tenure as head of the cloud business group, Mr Enslin helped build out SAP's cloud portfolio including its $8 billion (Dh29.4bn) deal last year to buy Qualtrics, which specialises in tracking online sentiment.

Mr Enslin's exit follows other high-profile departures, including Bjoern Goerke, chief technology officer and head of SAP's cloud platform business, and Bernd Leukert, the board executive who ran global service and support.

Programming guru Rich Heilman - who was highly respected in the wider SAP developer ecosystem - has also left.

The departures underscore Mr McDermott's long-stated ambition to transform SAP into a digital platform business, but the exit of long-serving and well-regarded staff with extensive know-how also risks alienating the company's core customers.

SAP said in January around 4,400 people would leave under the restructuring. Arch-rival Oracle has also announced layoffs and some of its top talent has defected to Google .

SAP said board member Jennifer Morgan, who joined the company in 2004 and most recently co-led SAP's global customer operations, would succeed Mr Enslin as president of the cloud business group.

Adaire Fox-Martin will take sole responsibility of global customer operations as president.

SAP will report its financial results for the first quarter as planned on April 24.

SAP is aiming for $1bn in revenues from the Middle East by 2020 as the company capitalises on the growing demand of cloud services in the region.

“Considering the potential in local economies and the extraordinary readiness to adopt technology, the Middle East will continue to serve as one of the fastest growing markets for SAP,” Luka Mucic, chief financial officer and member of the board at SAP, told The National at the time. “And certainly there will be a good share of cloud in this growth.”

Updated: April 6, 2019 12:14 PM

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