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SAP storm in a teacup?

News that SAP UK and Ireland is to get a new managing director for the third time in three years has sparked speculation about what appears to be a high rate of churn.

But the fact of the matter is that out-going MD, Steve Winter, has been deployed elsewhere in SAP, albeit just six months of being appointed to the role.

Winter is to head up a newly-created HR Solutions team as part of SAP’s drive to ramp up business around its nascent Hana in-memory technology, cloud and mobile offerings.

His predecessor, Tim Noble, was also redeployed within SAP to oversee the company’s emerging markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa in July 2011.

The departure of an MD is also hardly a major management change, so presumably all customers’ points of contact and relationships with SAP will remain unchanged.

“Everyone is reading too much into this,” SAP commentator Ray Wang, principal analyst and chief executive at Constellation Research told Computer Weekly.
 
“In the larger sense, a company as large as SAP has to move its resources around based on sales priorities which at times maps to customer priorities and internal goals,” he said.

Paris-based Fred Hessabi, SAP general manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa, will act as interim MD for SAP UK & Ireland until Winter’s successor is appointed.

Hessabi fulfilled that same interim leadership role following Noble’s re-deployment and Winter’s appointment in August 2011.

Whether or not Winter’s departure from the UK MD role is due to more than a simple redeployment remains to be seen, but it seems more likely that all the speculation it has provoked will, in hindsight, be little more than a storm in a teacup.

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