Thread regarding SAP layoffs

How deep is the turmoil in SAP?

I saw some other threads on this platform about the instability of our Board Members and I wanted to broaden this thread under the spirit of one of our corporate values to  "Tell it Like It Is".   Turmoil  can be a critical  derailer in establishing credibility and establishing long  term successful companies,   so I offer this post.   


It is true that you can count at least 7 Board Members in just the last 3-4 years who have been let go.    However, as astonishing as this is,  this turnover is by no means limited to just the Board Members.  I am part of Global Marketing and in the last 3 years we have had 3 different CMO's.  Yes that is correct,  3 different CMO's,  of which not one of them has come thru the Global Marketing Organization.   All of them were brought in from other companies which then says two things about SAP,   (i) seems that we have not one person in all of GMI who is capable of leading the organization ( really??)  and  (ii) our succession planning of which we are told is of great importance, is  basically worthless when we have to go external to get our  successors   -  and maybe both of these are unfortunately the  real truth about SAP which then lays the foundation as to what is wrong with the company.    You can probably make an educated guess at how completely inefficient and disruptive these changes have been.  One marketing campaign after the next gets shelved even before we can launch them and we  then shift over to construct brand new themes and so on and so forth.    All of this with intense pressure on delivering such programs in  very short timeframes.   The Sales organization is equally as bad as the Marketing team with respect to change outs and other teams such as HR, Consulting,  etc are also in constant flux.

So my question is this,  our stock has  been down significantly for the last 2 years.  Our Board which is supposed to provide the strategic direction, set long term goals, and establish policy for the corporation is in a state of constant turnover  so there is no continuity among a stable group of Board members in establishing and tracking  the  visions and goals that they themselves promulgate !    You literally have to call up the Board in our Portal just to be able to recite who is actually on it because  of the constant changes..  Simultaneously, the leadership of our teams also replicate  a group of tourists who just come in for a short stay and then leave ( and most of the time it's a mess  as to what is left behind) and of course a change in the top leadership then cascades all through the different organizations putting in new people to drive new goals for  all the different teams.   When you look at the resumes of our Executive Board, who among this group ( other than Luka)  has 'real credentials'  to lead a Fortune 500 company?   I totally miss the requisite  level of experience, depth or knowledge among this group to be credible for a corporation as vast as SAP.
It's not all negative because the most amazing thing about SAP is its employees across all lines of business and regions, no question about this at all and this above all else is what keeps this company afloat.

Therefore  does anybody know how with all of this turmoil between the Board Members and our organization leadership positions, how exactly does SAP achieve sustainable high growth in the years ( and decades to come)?    When you get past the Quarterly performance hype ( where we just saw in the  Q1/22 results that  Profit after Tax, Operating profit and EPS were all down),   it's our stock pricing  that tells  best  the story of what could lie ahead and that  look ahead is not very  good.   Cloud margins are very thin and customer turnover is a year to year competition to keep them and so  I think we are living off of our past performance  and successes as a leader in ERP and  On Prem platforms  which so far has  covered the instability of today and as this gets exhausted, I am afraid and sorry to say,   so perhaps also will we.  Maybe somebody  else sees a path out of this chaos,   but for me , this disruption  has been embedded in our organization for far too long to be  fixed  by the leaders we have here today.      We need and must have much more  experienced  and competent Board and Leadership members   to deal with todays'  complex business  challenges.  

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Post ID: @OP+1gAZ2WSd

4 replies (most recent on top)

I could not agree more, we have people throughout the entire organization in positions for which they have zero background, from Board members to Leaders of organizations. The turnover is obviously because they do not perform to expectations. I can attest to this personally, for the last 12 years we have had 2 leaders on my team who were put in place because they were in Germany and their leaders needed to find a spot for them for a number of reasons. Neither one had any ( and I mean nothing) background in what my team does, so the focus of the team is all wrong and the morale suffers big time. This is by no means unusual at SAP. It all starts at the top and when the top puts in subordinates who are unqualified it just cascades from there. It's time for Hasso to step out and allow the company to begin the process of retaining the most experienced and capable people who are available and leave the Works Council, internal politics, friendships and other non relevant factors completely out of the picture. But I agree with comment above, this will never happen, it's better for the ship to sink vs taking the right actions

Post ID: @2dah+1gAZ2WSd

SAP hires and promotes many low cost worker from low cost countries to displace local workers. Even those that are customer fronting, which you would expect be best served by locals.

And these workers from low cost countries come and think they are special and behave so arrogantly

SAP promotes many leaders in the field based on connections Those not in the inner circle are pushed out. Those that are promoted become the local te---r and propagate the poor leadership

Post ID: @1puy+1gAZ2WSd

Sad but true picture of SAP.   

 It comes back again and again that we have the wrong people selecting the wrong people.  Almost all of the individuals on the Executive Board (who are all  part of SAP's Leadership team) are very inexperienced at such roles, especially for a global company as large as SAP. In a more competent  company these people would never be in such positions.

It seems pretty simple fix,   identify "who or whom" is responsible for making these selections and begin the process of removing them  and replacing them with people who have demonstrated accomplishments  and skills  leading organizations as complex as SAP over an extended period of time.

However I am certain  that  none of this will happen and instead it will be the employees who pay the price for the turmoil, turnover and chaos that was created by others.

Post ID: @1emf+1gAZ2WSd

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