SAP Extends CEO McDermott's Contract Until 2021 After Accident

  • Heads of finance, technology and sales also have new contracts
  • McDermott had lost an eye in an accident last summer

SAP SE extended Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott’s contract until 2021 and did the same for three other board members, according to an internal memo, solidifying its executive team into the next decade.

McDermott, who has been sole CEO since May 2014 and co-CEO since 2010, will serve at least five more years at the German software company’s helm, according to the memo written by Chairman Hasso Plattner and obtained by Bloomberg. McDermott’s contract would have expired next year. 

American-born McDermott, 54, lost an eye following a household accident in the U.S. in July and was unable to fly to headquarters in Germany for several weeks. A recent report in the German press speculated he might step aside and that German executives had gained prominence during his absence.

"Hasso Plattner has unconditionally refuted those stories. There’s absolutely positively no truth to those," McDermott said in an interview Thursday night in Germany.

"The board basically said, ’This is our team and he’s our guy and why wait until the expiration of the contract?’" he added. "I’m exactly where I want to be and where I’m supposed to be. If I feel like I want to keep going, then maybe we’ll make it to 2026."

Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic, Head of Products and Innovation Bernd Leukert, and sales chief Rob Enslin also had their contracts extended until 2021.

"SAP is in a strong position and the supervisory board has full confidence in the company’s growth strategy and its exceptional leadership team," Plattner wrote in the memo.

Reuters reported news of the extension earlier Thursday. SAP is scheduled to issue its annual report on March 29.

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