Hasso Plattner continues as the head of the SAP supervisory board

The last remaining co-founder of the software company wants to stand for re-election for the post as chief controller in the coming year. Shareholder representatives had previously called for a change.

Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the software company SAP

SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner wants to extend his term of office as chairman of the supervisory board again. “In 2022 – when my current shortened term of office expires – I will run for re-election for a further two years for the last time,” he said on Wednesday at the Group’s virtual general meeting. As in the previous year, the seventy-seven-year-old did not chair the shareholders’ meeting, but was only connected from his adopted home of California.

At the end of his video message, he wanted to discuss a personal topic that he has been asked more and more about lately. He founded the company from scratch with a handful of colleagues and, as a board member and supervisory board, shaped it into a global company over many years.

Now he is the last of the founders still in office and he sees it as his task to accompany SAP in the critical phase of the transformation to a cloud company. For him, it is about ensuring stability and avoiding unrest through further changes in leadership during the transformation.

Shareholder representatives are calling for a change

Before the meeting, a number of shareholder representatives had demanded a change, or at least clarification about Plattner’s further plans. Markus Golinski from the cooperative fund company Union Investment said the long overdue change was so demanding and profound that “there is no getting around a long-term succession solution.” CEO Christian Klein needed a supervisory board chairman who could accompany him through the entire transition phase.

Similar tones came from the Sparkasse fund company Deka. “It is time to hand over the baton to the chairman of the board. We are therefore calling for a comprehensible succession plan for Hasso Plattner and a rejuvenation of the supervisory board, ”says Deka representative Ingo Speich.

The person addressed, who as “Chief Software Advisor” is still far more than “just” the supreme controller, responded in his own way. He would set the course, he said, “but in my own way” – “thoughtfully and with Heart and soul “. Because he does not want to be a “lame duck”, he will inform the shareholders of his plans at least six months before his last general meeting.

Share price has lost

Plattner strongly promoted the strategic turnaround towards cloud solutions that was initiated last autumn, which had triggered a share price decline that has not yet made up. As the largest shareholder, he himself was hit by it. Corona, however, has so intensified the trend towards cloud solutions that SAP had to react. The strategy of board spokesman Christian Klein had been closely coordinated with the supervisory board and was still correct. With the newly composed executive board, the group now has a management team that will implement this strategy with “full commitment and as a team”.