SAP ANZ back in the hunt for a chief executive

SAP ANZ back in the hunt for a chief executive

Tim Ebbeck appointed acting CEO and managing director of SAP Australia and New Zealand after Alan Hyde unexpectedly left the company.

SAP Australia is looking for its second country head in as many years after Australia and New Zealand managing director and joint chief executive Alan Hyde unexpectedly left the company. The $US59 billion ($67 billion) German software giant said yesterday that Mr Hyde would take a few months off after five years with SAP to pursue an "alternative course in his career". It described the parting as mutually amicable.

Mr Hyde's role has been filled in the interim by SAP's chief commercial officer of Asia Pacific and Japan, Tim Ebbeck. The company is yet to say when it intends to fill the position permanently.

Two of the company's key challenges in Australia over the next year are to sign big contracts with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is considering overhauling its core banking system, and the Department of Defence, which is looking at a single enterprise resource planning system to merge its payroll, financials and logistics systems.

While SAP Asia Pacific and Japan chief executive Geraldine McBride, who previously headed the Australian business, said yesterday that Mr Hyde had played a key role in the SAP leadership team, it remains unclear what triggered his departure. But the company has come under sustained pressure from arch rival Oracle Corporation, which has attracted new clients through an aggressive acquisition strategy that has included buying companies such as PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Business Objects.

Mr Ebbeck joined SAP in 2003 and was previously chief operational officer and chief financial officer for the Australia and New Zealand region.

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