President of SAP North America resigns

SAP AG‘s North American president Robert Courteau resigned Thursday, according to an SAP spokesman.

In an SAP statement sent to ComputerWorld Canada, Jason Grosse, SAP’s head of media relations for North America confirmed that Courteau has left. SAP did not release any details about Courteau’s departure other than that he himself had “taken the decision to leave.”

The statement added that “Rob Enslin, president of global customer operations, will assume interim responsibility for SAP’s North America region until a successor is named.”
Courteau had held the position for around 15 months, having originally taken over from Enslin in January 2011.
In an interview, George Goodall, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, says he doesn’t believe Courteau’s resignation signals that anything is amiss at SAP. “This kind of churn is not uncommon right now,” he says, pointing to other high-profile departures (former CEO Shai Aggasi and senior executive John Wookey) at the software company. He believes it’s likely Courteau has indeed left for personal reasons.
“SAP has performed well in North America. We don’t anticipate any real disruption,” Goodall said. “I don’t think this is an issue of performance. I think it truly is an individual decision to look for other opportunities.”
Goodall speculates that Courteau may turn up at a smaller company interested in hiring an experienced veteran a few months or a year from now. He says there has been “a pattern of seasoned enterprise executives from Oracle, from SAP, ending up in smaller providers, typically cloud-based providers.”
“Some of these smaller companies are looking for operational insights,” he adds.
Courteau first took on the role in 2011, after serving as SAP’s COO for global field operations. He had previously worked at SAP in various capacities, including in channel sales and business intelligence solutions. He first joined the company in 2004 as president and managing director of SAP Canada.

Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on Google+. He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

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