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.