German business software maker SAP AG said Vishal Sikka, head of products and innovation, has stepped down and that it had named two new members to its executive board. Sikka was leaving SAP for personal reasons with immediate effect, the company said in a statement on Sunday. A computer scientist by training, Sikka was key in developing SAP’s flagship product, Hana, which helps firms analyse large amounts of data quickly, and bringing it to market.
Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research says, “Vishal’s departure from SAP is unfortunate – he has been the key anchor for the HANA platform and has played a critical role in the move to integrate all apps to the platform. While the platform has surely reached stability and is a mature solution in the market, SAP has had trouble in driving sales for both the platform and its related cloud services. This departure is critical since post the failure of SAP to sell ByDesign, HANA is effectively the only new innovation the company has been betting big hopes on. Vishal is an innovator and such a sudden decision to depart the company only mounts worries about the company’s taste of success with the platform. The timing of the move is also critical – this is happening as Bill (McDermott) emerges as a sole CEO shortly and is expected to have his own set of leadership. This among other sources of confusion doesn’t help shaky customer confidence.”
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