SAP’s worldwide chief of products and innovation has announced his surprise departure from the company, three years ahead of the expiry of his contract.
Vishal Sikka joined SAP in 2002 to lead SAP’s strategic innovative projects, and was later promoted to chief software architect, looking after the roadmap for the architecture of SAP’s products. He was named SAP’s first ever chief technology officer in 2007.
More recently he has been in charge of the development and delivery of SAP’s applications, analytics, cloud, database and mobile products. Sikka has also been responsible for the design and end-user experience for all SAP products.
His time at SAP is marked by the development and introduction of SAP’s in-memory HANA platform, which has grown to become the foundation for SAP’s entire product portfolio.
SAP said in a statement Sikka had departed the company for personal reasons, effective immediately.
"No company in the industry can do what SAP can do in the cloud with the SAP HANA platform today. I would like to personally thank Vishal for his contribution to take SAP to this stage. We will remain friends as he pursues the next step in his journey," chairman of SAP's Supervisory Board, Hasso Plattner, said.
SAP said HANA currently has 3200 customers and 1000 customers for its Business Suite, powered by HANA, since its launch in June 2011.
Application development executive Bernd Leukert will take over global SAP product development, while SAP veteran Helen Arnold will become the company’s new chief information officer, responsible for cloud operations and HANA.
Arnold currently looks after SAP’s business innovations and application services division.