SAP boss ousted in shock management reshuffle

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SAP boss ousted in shock management reshuffle

Chief forced to resign.

SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker has unexpectedly resigned after less than a year in the job, following the news that the company had declined to renew his contract.

SAP said today that Apotheker is to leave the company by "mutual agreement", and is to be replaced by current board members Bill McDermott, head of field organisation, and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development.

"The new setup of the SAP executive board will allow SAP to better align product innovation with customer needs," said Hasso Plattner, co-founder and chairman of SAP.

"The new leadership team will continue to drive SAP's strategy and focus on profitable growth, and will deliver its innovations in 2010 to expand SAP's leadership of the business software market."

The move was unexpected given Apotheker's short stint in the role, and in light of the firm's latest financial results which met with expectations.

However, the company also reported a 40 percent decline in software sales, and the SAP board was apparently unsettled by long-term threats to future profitability.

There was also considerable unease at SAP's plan to increase the cost of its support contracts by up to 22 percent.

SAP held off on the move after a user backlash, and announced a new deal last month.

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