SAP names two new co-CEOs

BERLIN: German-based SAP, the world's largest professional software group, announced Sunday that Leo Apotheker was stepping down as chief executive officer and was being replaced by two company insiders.

Bill McDermott, SAP's head of field organisation and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development, were named as co-CEOs by the company's executive board, SAP said in a statement.

Both had already served on the company's executive board, which is being joined by Vishal Sikka, SAP's chief technology officer.

"The new setup of the SAP Executive Board will allow SAP to better align product innovation with customer needs," said Hasso Plattner, one of the company's founders and chairman of supervisory board.

"The new leadership team will continue to drive forward SAP's strategy and focus on profitable growth, and will deliver its innovations in 2010 to expand SAP's leadership of the business software market."

The company recorded a 4.0-percent fall in net profit in 2009 to 1.8 billion euros last year, but expects to bounce back this year with a 30-31 percent jump in operating profit.