SAP Designated Chair Punit Renjen Resigns Due to Difference in Perspective on the Role

In a surprising turn of events, SAP, the German software giant, announced on Sunday that Punit Renjen, the current chair designate, has decided to resign from his position due to differences with the board.
Punit Renjen, a former CEO of Deloitte, cited a difference in perspective on the role of SAP Supervisory Board chair as the reason for his departure, according to SAP’s news statement.

The resignation of Punit Renjen, an Indian-origin businessman, will be effective at SAP’s next annual general meeting scheduled for May 15. Punit Renjen is leaving the business software major just a year after he was named as the designated chairman to succeed the company’s co-founder Hasso Plattner.

Punit Renjen (61) has previously served as global CEO of the professional services firm Deloitte from 2015 until his retirement on December 31, 2022. SAP had earlier said Punit Renjen developed and executed a strategy that resulted in Deloitte revenues growing from $35 billion to more than $59 billion in seven years.

“SAP and Punit Renjen have mutually agreed to part ways because of a difference in perspective on the role of SAP Supervisory Board chair, which Punit Renjen was designated to assume. Punit Renjen has chosen to resign his mandate on the SAP Supervisory Board with effect from the end of SAP’s Annual General Meeting on May 15, 2024,” SAP said in its official statement.

Who’s Pekka Ala-Pietila?

In light of Punit Renjen’s resignation, SAP has put forth the nomination of Pekka Ala-Pietila, a Finnish businessman, to stand for election as chair of its supervisory board.

Pekka Ala-Pietila, 67, brings with him an impressive track record in European innovation and technology. He served as the President of Nokia Corporation from 1999 to 2005 and was a member of SAP’s supervisory board from 2002 to 2021.

Pekka Ala-Pietila’s experience also includes chairing the EU Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence from 2018 to 2020 and leading Finland’s Artificial Intelligence Programme from 2017 to 2019. Currently, he holds positions on several European corporate boards, including as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Dutch multinational location intelligence company HERE Technologies.

Pekka Ala-Pietila’s nomination is seen as a strategic move by SAP to continue its transformation journey. He holds honorary Doctorates in Technology from Tampere University of Technology and in Science from the Aalto University School of Business. Pekka Ala-Pietila resides in Helsinki, Finland.

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