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Thu 5 Apr 2007 11:41 AM

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SAP heir apparent quits company

Shai Agassi, one of SAP's most senior executives - and tipped in many quarters as the next CEO - has resigned to work in the alternative energy sector.

Shai Agassi, one of SAP's most senior executives - and tipped in many quarters as the next CEO - has resigned to work in the alternative energy sector.

Agassi, president of SAP's Product and Technology Group, left the firm at the end of last week, with the enterprise software vendor citing the recent contract extension of CEO Henning Kagermann as the reason for his departure.

"While we regret Shai's decision to leave, we congratulate him on his record of achievement at SAP," said Hasso Plattner, chairman of SAP's supervisory board. "With the extension of Henning's contract to 2009, it became apparent that Shai was not comfortable committing to a 10 to 15 year period, which was not in keeping with his personal career timeline."

Analysts have expressed surprise at the speed of Agassi's departure, but said it should not adversely affect the company's technology roadmap.

Agassi said he was looking forward to exploring new opportunities and working on issues that were important to him, including alternative energy and environmental policy.

In addition to the departure of Agassi, SAP has made a number of other senior management changes.

The vendor has also created an executive council, comprised of the company's corporate officers, which will have shared responsibilities for both customer-facing and product strategies.

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