Hasso Plattner To Step Down as SAP Chairman
Punit Renjen to Succeed Plattner in Structured Transition
Meet the Experts
On February 22nd, 2023, the SAP Supervisory Board announced the nomination of Punit Renjen to stand for election as a new member at the upcoming Annual General Meeting on May 11th, 2023. They also proposed that Renjen would become the designated successor to Hasso Plattner as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. This is the beginning of a transition that will see Plattner leave the SAP Supervisory Board at the end of his current term in May 2024.
The End of an Era
Plattner (79) was a co-founder of SAP together with Dietmar Hopp, Claus Wellenreuther, Klaus Tschira, and Hans-Werner Hector in 1972. Plattner was the youngest of the five founders, and has remained actively engaged with the company for nearly 20 years longer than any of his peers. While Dietmar Hopp was SAP’s first CEO, Plattner became co-CEO of the company in 1998 working together with Henning Kagermann for 5 years. Plattner stepped down from that role in 2003 and became Chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, a role he has held since that time.
With Plattner stepping down as Chairman, this will bring to an end the era of SAP’s five founders. However, Plattner’s mark will remain on the company as he has mentored several members of the current Executive Board including Juergen Mueller, Thomas Saueressig, and CEO Christian Klein. A level of continuity will also remain with Supervisory Board member Gerhard Oswald, a long-time SAP employee, colleague of Plattner, and former SAP Executive Board member.
In an email message to SAP employees Klein stated that “Hasso emphasized his continued commitment to remain fully engaged as Chairman of the Supervisory Board until the end of the transition period.” This will greatly benefit the transition as it will allow Plattner to work closely with Renjen for a year before his term expires.
Planning for the Future
Plattner’s designated successor as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Punit Renjen. Recently retired as the Deloitte Global CEO, Renjen (61) was central to a 65% revenue growth over a seven-year period. Renjen is a member of the Leadership Council of the World Economic Forum as well as the International Business Council. He has also served as Chairman of the United Way Worldwide.
Plattner stated, “This initiates a structured transition at the help of the Supervisory Board, ensuring the continuity necessary for our company’s ongoing growth. With extensive experience as a highly successful CEO of one of the world’s largest consulting firms, Punit brings valuable insights and expertise to the board. His deep understanding of customers’ needs, and the broader industry make him an ideal candidate for the Chairman of the Supervisory Board from 2024 onwards.”
Plattner continued to say, “We are now the number one Enterprise Application company globally. I will continue to chair SAP with passion and commitment until the baton is passed to the new leader who will take the company to new heights.”
In accepting the nomination, Renjen said, “At a time when the company is successfully transforming into an enterprise application leader in the cloud and delivering on Hasso Plattner’s original vision of helping the world run better and improving people’s lives, I could not be more excited at the opportunity to help shape the future of a company that has unmatched relevance for global business.”