SAP AG (SAP), the biggest maker of software used to run enterprises, may hire an external candidate to become the executive-board member in charge of personnel, after leaving the position vacant since July.
“We felt that with the transformation that we have, the right thing for us is to add external DNA into managing our people agenda, so we may be looking externally,” co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Hagemann Snabe said yesterday in an interview at the Sapphire conference in Orlando, Florida.
SAP is reviewing male and female candidates, and the final decision is up to the supervisory board, Snabe said. The German company, which competes with Oracle Corp. (ORCL:US) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US), aims to add more women as well as representatives from Asia to its top management bodies, he said.
Chief Financial Officer Werner Brandt has overseen SAP’s human-resources management on an interim basis since Angelika Dammann, the company’s first female board member, stepped down in July after less than a year.
German Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen has repeatedly called for gender quotas in DAX companies’ management and supervisory boards. She told Bild-Zeitung in April that they remain behind medium-sized companies, who have increased the share of women in leading positions to 30 percent.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) this month appointed Simone Menne, who has worked for the carrier since 1989, to succeed Stephan Gemkow, making her the sole female chief financial officer in the DAX index of the 30 largest German companies.
SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, set up a global management board last month, adding Danish-born Lars Dalgaard, the founder of SuccessFactors, and Robert Enslin, a South African who runs sales operations, to its top management to assist the executive board.
“The diversity that we have on our board is a real asset to us, and I would hope we can continue down that path,” Snabe said.
SAP last year set a goal of increasing the proportion of women in management to 25 percent by 2017 from 18 percent at the time. The company this month named New Zealand-born Geraldine McBride to head its North American operations.
SAP slipped 0.2 percent to 48.05 euros at 9:49 a.m. in Frankfurt. The stock is up 18 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 59 billion euros ($75 billion).
Snabe and co-CEO Bill McDermott are rolling out mobile applications, Web-based software and rapid in-memory processing software to help achieve a goal of raising annual revenue to 20 billion euros by 2015, from 14.2 billion euros ($18.1 billion) last year.
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