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Three UK MDs in three years leaves SAP in ‘state of flux’

TechMarketView analyst says that it is hard to see the changes in a positive light

This week saw SAP change the Managing Director of its UK and Ireland operations for the third time in less than three years, leaving the company in a 'state of flux', according to a senior analyst.

Fred Hessabi was appointed interim UK MD this month after Steve Winter left the post to head up a newly-created line of business HR solutions team after just six months in the job. Prior to Winter, Tim Noble left the position as UK MD after just over two years.

Angela Eager, research director at analyst firm TechMarketView, said that there is "always a fear" that such rapid successions will result in a negative impact on SAP's strategic directions.

"Management is in a state a flux at SAP UK and Ireland. It's a very curious situation because the UK is one of SAP's biggest markets outside of Germany and the US. I'm a bit puzzled by what's happening here to be honest," Eager told Computerworld UK.

"My interpretation would be that SAP has put so much investment into such initiatives as HANA, mobile and cloud that they really have to draw in the sales now to drive the revenues from those areas."

She added: "I think that they are looking around to bring in the best strategic sales people to make this happen. However, the fact that Steve Winter has been there for just six months is hard to interpret in a positive light."

The UK and Ireland SAP User Group chairman Alan Bowling has said that he and the group are looking forward to developing a "long-term relationship" with Winter's successor, but did also say that "continuity and consistency in management at SAP is really important to the user community".

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