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Former Business Objects CEO Is Out at SAP

The executive turmoil at SAP continued this week as the company announced the departure of John Schwarz, who headed the company's Business Objects unit.

The former CEO of BI vendor Business Objects stayed on after SAP acquired the company in 2008 for $6.8 billion.

Schwarz's departure comes just days after SAP announced it replaced CEO Leo Apotheker with two co-chief executives -- Bill McDermott, who headed the company's field organization, and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development.

Just last month, SAP had named Schwarz to head a newly created Industry and Solution Management Board, with the charter of building industry solutions.

"Why he left is anyone's guess at this stage," said Forrester Research analyst Paul Hamerman in an e-mail.

Hamerman said it's possible that Schwarz left because he was passed over for the CEO slot. "But it may go deeper than that," he said. "Nevertheless, he is a well-respected software exec who may resurface soon in another company." SAP hasn't announced a replacement for Schwarz.

SAP on Thursday also said it has named Gerhard Oswald as the company's chief operating officer, replacing Erwin Gunst, who stepped down due to health issues. Oswald, a 30-year veteran of SAP, heads the company's Global Service and Support group and will continue in that role.

The company also named Peter Lorenz, executive vice president for small and medium enterprises, as a corporate officer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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