In 2009, SAP had 47,584 employees globally (31 Dec.) for a Total Revenue (IFRS) of 10,672 M EUR.
In 2018, SAP had 96,498 employees globally (31 Dec.) for a Total Revenue (IFRS) of 24,708 M EUR.
So in 9 years, the Revenue increased by +130% and the number of employees by +103% .
The ratio of Revenue / Employee was 224 K EUR in 2009 and 256 K in 2018, an increase of 14% over 9 years. In other words, a productivity increase of 1.5% per year.... Not a stellar performance for a software company, especially as inflation is not included... Factoring in inflation means that productivity decreased over 9 years as global inflation is higher than 1.5% yearly. At that rate, SAP needs ~136,000 employees for 35 B EUR revenue....
Where did the employee growth come from?
In 2009, EMEA had 25,362 employees, Americas had 11,974 and APJ had 10,248 as of 31 Dec.
In 2018, EMEA had 41,848 employees, Americas had 28,029 and APJ had 26,620 as of 31 Dec.
So..........EMEA grew by +65%.................Americas by +134%.....and APJ by +160%
A company that doubles employees over 9 years will automatically build fat and non-productive / redundant units and jobs. This will always end-up with "streamlining", "downsizing" (whatever the name). SAP had not faced the reality so far due to its own complacency.
I have seen a company going from 90,000 to 170,000 after M&A then 2 waves of layoffs in 1 year. Each wave was 15,000 employees. So, 30,000 employees lost their job as a result (18% of employees). This was truly traumatic for everyone.
So, SAP shed ~4,400 people in January. This is only ~5% of its workforce. Nothing exceptional from a business point of view (although traumatic for all impacted individuals). I would say there is still a lot of fat and synergies to be implemented so "brace for the next wave"....