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SAP AG (NYSE:SAP)

July 22, 2013 10:30 am ET

Executives

Stefan Gruber - Vice President of Investor Relations

Hasso C. Plattner - Co-Founder, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board, Chairperson of General & Compensation Committee, Chairperson of Mediation Committee, Chairperson of Technology & Strategy Committee, Chairperson of Nomination Committee and Chairperson of Special Committee

Jim Hagemann Snabe - Co-Chief Executive Officer, Head of Development for the SAP Business Suite, General Manager of Industry Solutions, Corporate Officer, Member of Executive Board and Member of Global Managing Board

William R. McDermott - Co-Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Executive Board, Member of Global Managing Board, Chief Executive Officer of Global Field Operations and President of Global Field Operations

Analysts

Richard G. Sherlund - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Walter H. Pritchard - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Stefan Paravicini

Ross MacMillan - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Operator

Good morning and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to today's SAP Conference Call. Following the opening comments, an interactive Q&A session will be available. I would now like to hand the call over to Stefan Gruber, Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Stefan Gruber

Yes. Thank you. Good morning or good afternoon. This is Stefan Gruber. Thank you for joining us on this press and analyst call to discuss yesterday's announcement about the election of Co-CEO, Jim Hagemann Snabe, to the SAP supervisory board. I'm joined by SAP Co-Founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hasso Plattner; our Co-CEOs, Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott; and our CFO, Werner Brandt. Hasso Plattner will begin the call with the opening remarks, followed by remarks by Jim and Bill. We will then have time for Q&A. The call today will last approximately 30 minutes.

Before the speakers get started, I want to say a few words about forward-looking statements. Any statements made during this call that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as anticipate, believe, estimate, expect, forecast, intend, may, plan, project, predict, should, outlook and will and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent report on Form 20-F for 2012 filed with the SEC on March 22, 2013. Participants of this call are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their date.

And with that, I would like to turn the call over to Hasso Plattner.

Hasso C. Plattner

Thanks. The SAP Supervisory Board yesterday discussed and voted on the proposal that Co-CEO, Jim Hagemann Snabe, will be proposed to be elected to the SAP Supervisory Board at the next SAP Annual Generally Shareholder Meeting in May 2014. This is possible because Jim came to me and asked me to resign from his current position as Co-CEO in the near-term future. I could convince him to stay til this point in time. 3.5 years ago when I asked Jim to take over the Co-CEO role together with Bill McDermott, he said, after 24 hours, considering the situation, "Yes, I will do it, but I won't do it forever." I asked him, "What do you think? What is not forever?" He said, "4 years." It will be 4.5 years then next year. I am very grateful for Jim's contribution. I'm very grateful how Jim and Bill work together. I'm incredibly proud of what they have achieved together that this Co-CEO model work so fabulously, but it only works in certain situations and with certain people. So we have 2 special people here, who have the trust in each other and good work with each other, without jealousy, without any kind of complexity. They share the responsibility and distributed their availability best around the world. So that worked fabulously.

In the future, we will go ahead with a single CEO. So when Jim leaves, he will not -- in his role as a Co-CEO, he will not have a successor. I think we are best prepared with Bill and the management team of SAP, especially since we extended the management team outside the executive board to our managing board, and we just reorganized the development. We have a very strong team in development, in sales, in services. And I'm very confident that SAP is best setup for the biggest transition probably in our industry, in our history that we move with all that we have into the cloud, and this will happen this year and beginning of next year. And we will still support customers on-premise. There's no question. Actually, the customers on-premise will benefit from the improvement of our software, we'll get by moving to the clouds. And I'm confident that Jim will do in the nearly 1 year, which is ahead of us, the outmost to force of this transition. This is one of -- it's one of his areas where he put most of the energy in the past. And I'm glad that, Jim, that you can continue to work on this transition for the next year.

So I'm said that you're leaving not. On the other hand, I have to thank you, in a formal way, for your contribution in the over 20 years to SAP and that you took this job. I know it was not easy. You told me that you cannot and will not move from Copenhagen. So you had to commute from Copenhagen to Walldorf or all the other places in the world where you showed up. 20 years is a long time. You made a tremendous contribution to SAP, and I am very glad that we can continue to work together once you start working on the executive team. And let's hope that the shareholder see it the same way and vote you into the board, in the Supervisory Board and we can continue to work for SAP there. Thank you very much, Jim.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Well, thank you very much, Hasso. As you know, my heart burns for SAP and will continue to do so. Before going into the while, let me also just say that the last 3 years of partnership with Bill has been, by far, the most exciting years of my career. Not only have we had the opportunity to reinvent the most successful company in the industry once again, but we've also grown a unique partnership. And I'd like to use the moment to thank Bill for an extraordinary great partnership and friendship, and I look forward to continue on both of these dimensions as we move forward.

And Hasso, you mentioned it really. Well, I've been around for more than 20 years. I actually started my career in 1990 with SAP. I was out a couple of years with IBM. But then, SAP has been my opportunity of a lifetime. And at some point in time in your career, you get all the priorities. Right now, I feel I need to pay back a little bit to my family. And also I feel it's the moment when I can support others in being successful. I need to focus less on myself own success. And so I was extremely happy and honored when Hasso Plattner asked me if I would consider joining the Supervisory Board because that would be a role where I could take my 23 years of experience, my passion for the company and the industry and continue the journey not leaving the company, but adding value on a different level. And Hasso, I want to thank you personally for that proposal, but also for your support over all the many years and you can count on me to stay focused and help accelerate the momentum of this fantastic company.

Now that said, the next question that I have gotten since yesterday evening is why now. And I truly believe that a change like this, you need to do at a moment of strength. And I feel we have a very strong company. During the last 3 years, we have, in many ways -- as the team reinvented the company and we are very, very strongly positioned, with a strong pipeline of products and a very strong team. I think we're in front of our biggest opportunity ever. And the move to the cloud is something that we are now leading. And, of course, HANA is redefining the industry like we predicted 3 years ago. It's just gone a little bit faster than we had anticipated, and that's good for SAP and an opportunity we need to grab.

And now I work with Bill for 3 years. I can truly say that I believe Bill is probably the best CEO in the industry, period. Most people see Bill as the guy in charge of sales, and that's also how we have divided and conquered as co-CEOs based on trust. But what I've seen in terms of strategic mind, passion to win, excellence in execution but also very deep understanding on the product and technology side makes me extremely proud to see Bill as the sole CEO, taking the company to the next level, which I'm sure he can. In particular, because the team around is also very strong. I think Vishal Sikka is the biggest innovator in the industry since the last 10 years. You pair him with Rob Enslin, the strongest go-to-market person in the industry, by far. You add on a Bob Calderoni, who has a proven track record of turning a license business into a cloud business; a Gerd Oswald, with his many years of experience, standing for quality, scale and customer support; a Werner Brandt, the firm hand on the -- not only the numbers but also HR; and 2 new members of the Global Managing Board, Bernd Leukert, a future innovator and proven leader, as well as Luka Mucic. I feel very, very proud of the team, and I look forward to extending my cooperation with this team in a new position when we come to May.

Maybe a final word for my side. I was asked, why didn't we announced this at the last Shareholder Meeting? Why at the next one? And my answer is very simple. Well, first of all, of course, you needed a decision in the Supervisory Board. But clearly, wouldn't you always want to have that long a transition period, so you can plan things to perfection and only accelerate the momentum of a company rather than have the disrupt changes that some companies experience when they don't plan this well.

So with that, again, thank you, Hasso. I'm honored. Bill, great friendship, and hand it over to you.

William R. McDermott

Jim, thank you very much. I'll keep my remarks brief because Jim did a great job of giving you an overview of where the company is at. I want to sincerely thank Jim. I remember when Hasso planned and called us up 3.5 years ago, and I asked Hasso when he offered me the opportunity of a lifetime to be the Co-CEO of SAP and I asked him who the Co was, and he said, "Jim." And I accepted without reservation instantaneously because I had actually worked for Jim -- work with Jim for several years prior to that. And I remember the good times that we had working between aligning development and the go to market of the company, and it was a really close relationship. So when Hasso says, "It's very unique to have a Co-CEO model that work." It's totally based on trust. It's the ultimate human currency. And we're personal friends, business partners and we both always have our heart in the right place for what was in the best interest of SAP, SAP people and of course, SAP shareholders.

In Jim Hagemann Snabe, I have not just a friend, but a great man, a great leader and an unbelievable, unbelievable executive. He says I'm the best. I say he's the best. So that's how we roll. The bottom line is this, Jim isn't going anywhere. He's going to be here for 10 months, and we're going to use all of that 10 months to drive productiveness in the company and also the next generation of our strategy.

And furthermore, I'm being particularly nice to him today because as he hopefully will get voted into the Supervisory Board member, I'll need a great mentor and a great friend on the Supervisory Board, and he'll be the first guy, along with Hasso Plattner, that I'll turn to for advice and counsel to make the company better.

So Jim, all I can say is 3-gun salute, hats off to you for just being a great partner and friend.

In terms of Hasso's remarks and Jim's, I'll keep mine briefly. I do feel that we are in a very special place. Our business model is unique for a large company. We stayed focused on business software, others didn't. And I think their business models are not as convenient to where the customer needs to go as ours is. We make a bold move in the cloud, especially powered by HANA, and we'll have the most high-performing cloud in the world. We'd really have done some amazing things with HANA and the story just continuous to be just the inspiration and the soul of our company. So we're just in great shape. And now it's just time to take it up a notch, and that's what we both intend to do.

Stefan Gruber

Thank you very much, Bill. Let's go back to the operator, and let's start the Q&A session.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] The first question comes from Rick Sherlund from Nomura.

Richard G. Sherlund - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Could you articulate for us how you divided the responsibilities of co-CEO with Jim? Kind of what his role has been and how that's going to be addressed going forward? How much of those responsibilities do you pick up? And will you need to leverage Vishal in some different way than you do today?

William R. McDermott

Yes. Thank you very much for the question, Rick. First of all, it's a great question because it may not be clear to everybody what we did and how we did it. We worked on the vision and the strategy for the company and just tremendous intimate detail, and we were always aligned and together on that every step of the way. While Jim spent more of his time on the development side of the company and I'm more on the customer side of the company, there was always a transparency between us and a sharing between us. And within the company, it was seen that way. And clearly, as you mentioned Vishal, I've said and Jim has repeatedly said as well, we think he is one of the great innovators in the world. So I would expect Vishal to jump in on the development and technology side in a huge way and lead us forward. That's his role. Now on the field and the go-to-market side, we have a guy by the name of Rob Enslin. So I see this beautiful connection between Vishal and Rob innovation immediately transferred to customer success, and that's much in the same way that Jim and I work. So we have really built the management team and the next generation of leaders in the company, and they're ready for that challenge.

Operator

The next question comes from Walter Pritchard from Citi.

Walter H. Pritchard - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

I guess, similar question to what was asked there. Just wanted to get more detail on the reporting lines. Is everything that was reporting to Jim report to Bill? Are there any changes in terms of how that's structured?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Yes, Jim here. So let me first of all say that nothing changes for 10 months. So nothing has changed and will change right now, which means we are in a position where we can make sure we continue to focus on executing our strategy and delivering solid quarter, like we had done. Once we get closer to May, we will, of course, have a plan. Now you'll see that the way we work was that most of the joint functions actually had a dual reporting line. We did strategy together. We did communications together. And we spend a little bit more time, I spend a little bit more time on development and Bill spend a little bit more time on sales. But don't get that wrong. Bill is a very, very strong technologist as well, probably through his background in other technology companies and analytical companies that I don't want to mention now. He's been challenging us, for instance, on the CRM strategy. And I would argue the reason we now have success is that because Bill was at the table, trying to drive the strategy for our CRM product and vice versa. I can go out in a battle in the field and I do that very often and I enjoy that. So in many ways, we had complete view, each one of us. We just didn't want to be duplicating our efforts.

Operator

The next question comes from Stefan Paravicini from Börsen-Zeitung.

Stefan Paravicini

Just 3 short ones, I guess. Just firstly, to understand the process a little bit better, could you tell us when the question of resigning was brought up for the first time? And secondly, with regard to the Supervisory Board, will you have to replace a board member? Or will you just join the 16 board members? And lastly, are you not afraid that you will end up as a kind of lame duck as it's said in politics? How do you make sure that this will not happen at SAP?

Hasso C. Plattner

Okay, I'll take this. Can I take this? We discussed this on -- during our Supervisory Board meeting until Sunday whether we could accommodate the termination of Jim's contract because he has a contract til 2017. And we have to release him from this contract and that was discussed on Sunday. And the Supervisory Board agreed to do this. Jim stays til end of May next year. And to -- there is -- these are the conditions. He is being proposed to come to the Supervisory Board, but this is depending on the shareholder vote, 25% of the shareholders. And yes, he will replace somebody else on the Supervisory Board. We will not extend the Supervisory Board beyond 16 members.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

And maybe let me ask -- answer the lame duck question. I think we have proven over 3 years now that we are very effective together. There's no reason why that shouldn't continue. We will continue to divide and conquer. Of course, we will use the 10 months to transition things as well. I think you'll see the company accelerating its pace, which is already very high. So no ducks here.

Operator

The next question comes from Chris Bryant from the Financial Times.

Chris Bryant

First question for Mr. McDermott, please. We had -- earlier that when Mr. Snabe joined, he sort of said he'd like to stay about 4 years. Have you made any comments about how long you would like to stay? And what you make of the speculation in the press today that you would one day like to go into politics? Second question, please, on the U.S. focus of SAP. I know it's been a topic over the years, with some people have reported today that this is another sign that SAP is becoming more an American company. So what you make about that? And then just one final question, please, on the 2017 contract. If it's true what you say about him, Mr. Snabe, wanted to stay only for 4 years, why then does he have a contract extending until 2017?

Hasso C. Plattner

I answer the last question. When we extended the contract of Bill McDermott to 2017, it would have been impossible not to extend Jim's contract. And so this is -- and that we are in the call together today has only to do with the regulations that whenever we talk about something like this and we make a decision about how we could solve and accommodate Jim's desires and Jim's needs that we have to go public. Otherwise, technically, it would have been much better not to say anything and just to continue, but this is not allowed by the regulations.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Thanks, Hasso. Jim here. Could I just add one comment that it's never been an exact science around 4 years. And I felt the timing was perfect now with the company in a strong position, starting its next phase of accelerating its pace into the cloud on HANA. With a very strong team in place, this was just the moment, when things on my list of priorities came together with a situation of the company that's very strong. So that's why it happened now. It couldn't have been predicted to be exactly 4 years, and it turns out to be 4.5. And I remain in the company in a different role. Bill, you want to answer the first?

William R. McDermott

Sure, sure. First of all, I'm not exactly certain as to where this political rumor comes from. But I must admit, I've heard it enough times now that I'm happy you asked the question so I can set the record straight. The real passion of my professional life is SAP. And I have no plans nor have I ever had plans to run for public office. So we can take that completely off the table. I love working with SAP and the role that I have here and I fully intend to honor my contract, which runs through 2017. And who knows, I'm a young enough guy that I don't intend to head to a beach after 2017. So should the Supervisory Board want me longer, I'm not in any rush. And then finally, on this -- I am American. I was born in the United States. That is true. But SAP is a truly global software company. And it's neither German nor American nor Chinese, it is everything to the globe. And my ambition is to make sure that the people in Germany, for example, understand how I respect the company's heritage and respect Europe as much as I do America, as a much as I do Asia. And I'm a truly global executive, working for a truly global software company, and that's how we'll lead.

Hasso C. Plattner

Just to add on this. We have 46% of our workforce in EMEA, 30% of our workforce in the Americas and 24% of our workforce in Asia Pacific. That shows how global SAP is.

Operator

The next question comes from Nicola Leske from Reuters.

Nicola Leske

I'm a little puzzled by something, and I'm hoping that you can clarify it for me. So in the Hamel [ph] interview just not even 3 weeks ago, you made a point of saying how great the co-CEO model was and how it made it easier to implement changes and made it quicker and why should anyone change that. And now just not even 3 weeks later you say you want to leave. For the reasons I understand and Hasso made it very clear what you said from the beginning. But I don't quite understand why you'd go out publicly and make a point of saying this is not something we need to change and then 3 weeks later, it's different. So maybe you could just take me through the decision process. What happened in those 3 weeks?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Yes. So maybe I should start on that. Jim, here. So what I said was that the co-CEO model works really well. And I think the last 3 years, the last 14 quarters of execution from SAP proves that. I think the speed in which we have revitalized this amazing company proves to you that this model actually works. So with that and now a few weeks later I'm making a personal change of priorities has nothing to do with the co-CEO at all. It's about my next phase in my career. And therefore, I'm sad to leave the co-CEO model. And I know that Bill will be a brilliant sole CEO as well. So I feel good about that opportunity. And that's basically it. It has nothing to do with the...

Nicola Leske

Can I just follow up on that?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Sure.

Nicola Leske

I understand that. But I'm guessing that a decision like this is not something that you take overnight. You kind of mow it over a little while. And so if you could just explain what happened between how long -- when did you first think it's time to go? And why did you go out publicly and say everything is peachy, basically?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Well, I do believe that everything is great and will continue to be great the next 10 months, and nothing will change that. And so there is nothing wrong with a co-CEO model. And I think the numbers speak for themselves. And the partnership and friendship that we have, I think, is unique. So yes, it certainly can work. It does require the trust that we have and a lot of professionalism and a complete obsession with the success of the company, not yourself. And therefore, we haven't -- and it has nothing...

Hasso C. Plattner

If I could -- yes, I have to interrupt here. We are only here together because we have to fulfill regulations. When Jim told me that he wants to leave in the near term or more distant future and we talked about under which conditions and when this could happen. When I go to the Supervisory Board with that, I'm obliged to make a public announcement. That is a reason why we're here. So there is no connection between saying yes, the co-CEO model works and is great and Jim is leaving because he is leaving in nearly a year from now. So that is the situation, don't forget this. And Stefan, we should allow some more questions because we started a little bit late and it's more important that we get this here out of the -- all information out to the press and the analysts.

Operator

The last question comes from Ross MacMillan from Jefferies.

Ross MacMillan - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

I don't think anyone would question either Jim nor Bill's strong capabilities as Co-CEOs. But Hasso, I'd like to just ask with the change to a sole CEO role, is it just progress of the company under Bill and Jim? Or is it the time now for a sort of cleaner, maybe leaner role for single CEO? I'm just curious, Hasso, as to your thought process behind this.

Hasso C. Plattner

It's very simple. I can't find another Jim and that Jim up with Bill. This is -- co-CEO construction only works in certain situations with certain people and you can't force it. You cannot just put 2 people together and say, "You are co-CEOs now." You really have to make sure that they work together. And we have done other things in the recent months to streamline the company. The company is moving with all what we have to the cloud and we have streamlined the development organization. We have put a new leadership team underneath the Executive Board in place and we are in full-execution mode. I cannot take the risk that the co-CEO model, which works so tremendously with Jim and Bill, that we find another construction of the same kind and it is slowing us down. So the co-CEO model is not slowing us down. Jim is not slowing us down. But not having Jim is a clear indication to go ahead with what we have, and this is a tremendous leader in Bill McDermott. But he has to fly normally [ph] to Europe. Unfortunately, I cannot avoid that.

Operator

The next question comes from Ersie Laquest [ph] from Dow Jones.

Unknown Attendee

I've got a question. Vishal Sikka is responsible for all innovation topics now. So Jim Hagemann Snabe, was there simply not enough duties left for you to stay Co-CEO?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

That's a funny angle. I saw some of those remarks as well. It's funny. I've always felt that leadership is not about grabbing onto parts and sitting heavily on a chair, but actually to develop leaders around you to take on bigger challenges. And I've seen Vishal grow over the last 3 years from a CTO to now a full-blown innovator, probably the best in industry. So I'm extremely proud that we were able to convince Vishal to take on a big, big role. I mean, he's got 20,000 developers in one of the most successful companies in the software industry. He's been reinventing the database layer, which was a mature market, now completely redefined by SAP. And we are moving everything into the cloud. So we're in a very, very strong position with Vishal Sikka. He is the best innovator, and that's why we gave him this task. And so it has absolutely nothing to do with my decision. There is no -- 22 years with a company, you reflect on where you are in your life and I felt I'm at this moment. And I think my family deserves some payback and I think the company is in an extremely good position to carry on. And with me going to the Supervisory Board, I feel that I can be part of that journey still.

Unknown Attendee

And why did you see the role as Co-CEO as a limited one from the beginning, as Hasso Plattner described before?

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Because I know to do the job in such a company that needed to go through a radical change, and we know that in 2010, was a commitment of time that was extraordinary. And you put everything of energy into that. We've done that very successfully. So I'm proud of the last 3 years and I feel it's time to leave the responsibility to the team. So that's basically why at the beginning I was like I know this will be very, very demanding. I'm willing to go through it. I haven't regretted a second of it. But now is the moment when I can leave that, go through a different role in the company and continue to be part of the success story of SAP.

Operator

Next question comes from Richard Weiss from Bloomberg.

Richard Weiss

I just wanted to follow up on something that was asked earlier. I just want to give you another chance to say a word in defense of Germany, given the concerns about SAP is a German company and the European "CEO" on the board now going to step down and with Werner Brandt, a long-standing board member also leaving next year, I believe, just a chance for you to put to rest any concerns that people in Germany who are following the company closely may have that the German heritage, so to say, will diminish or eventually disappear.

Hasso C. Plattner

Yes, the successor of -- the successor of Werner Brandt, what is the noise? Excuse me. The successor of -- somebody has to stop moving paper around of -- in front of the microphone, thank you. The successor of Werner Brandt is Luka Mucic. And he is not only from Europe, he is from Germany. He is from Walldorf. He went to school in Walldorf. And so that's with the succession of Mr. Werner Brandt. We have built a leadership team in the recent month in development for example, and promoted Bernd Leukert to the Global Management Board, which is the next level underneath the Legal Executive Board. We have put development managers, new development managers in place and then several development units and quite a few of them are Germans. So there is nothing wrong with Germans. There is nothing wrong with people from Walldorf. We pick the people in our global company by talent and promote them to the position, even regardless where they sit in the world. We cannot continue to have a company depending on local background. We picked the people, whether they're in Shanghai, Beijing, in Bangalore, in Mumbai, in Israel or in Germany or in the United States or in South America, we pick them where we have them. We have the infrastructure now in place. We didn't have 20 years ago that we can communicate worldwide. We will be in a few minutes on a videoconference. We have not solved the problem of the time zones, I must say. But other than that, like other great companies, Cisco and others, we work on a global base. And therefore, we pick the managers where they come from. There is no -- and just in our call with the German leadership team, I got to thank your note from the Germans when they found out how many from Germany got promoted to high ranks in SAP.

Operator

The next question comes from Antonia [ph] from dpa.

Annika Graf

I must excuse us, this is Annika Graf from dpa. I just jumped in. I have another question regarding the concerns of people working at SAP, especially in Germany that this might weaken their position or weaken the headquarters and what light [ph] of. Will Bill McDermott actually spend more time in Germany as he becomes the sole CEO next year. Might he even learn German? And my second question, have you ever thought of a kind of a cooldown phase for Mr. Snabe because he just jumps in from his role as a CEO into the Supervisory Board? And if we might know there has been some discussions about this concerning, yes, in the change of...

Hasso C. Plattner

We have to respect the cooldown period, but we can overwrite this, if we get 25% or more than 25% of votes of our shareholders. I think it is very advisable to the shareholders to vote in favor of Jim Hagemann Snabe to come to the Supervisory Board because he can be of tremendous value there. And in order to avoid any problems with being on the if he gets voted in on to the Supervisory Board and be financially connected with SAP, we took care of that in the proposal for the transition.

William R. McDermott

And in terms of -- this is Bill McDermott. In terms of Germany and spending time in Germany, one of the magical parts of the co-CEO, combination of Jim and I, is we were very thoughtful about dividing our time, where it could be the best in service to our customers, our partners and of course, our employees. And you're absolutely right. With this new structure, when it does set in place, I'll absolutely spend more time in Germany, very committed to Germany. I've been with this company since 2002. I know a little bit about its heritage, its culture and the brilliant engineers that we have in Germany and the great workforce that we have in Germany. And I'm really looking forward to spending more time. I'm also at a point in my life where my wife and I are almost empty nesters. And when that happens, you just have a little bit more freedom, where you don't have to make it home every weekend. And I certainly will look to spend my fair share of times in Germany and Europe as well. In terms of learning Germany -- German, I certainly accept that challenge. It's something that I'd like to do a lot better at. And with the coaches that I'm likely to have internally, I bet I can pick up a thing or 2. And thank you for the suggestion, I'll work on it.

Hasso C. Plattner

Thank you very much. This concludes our Q&A session. I would like to hand it back to Jim and Bill for some closing remarks.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Hasso, thank you very much. Let me start. I think we have a great moment in the successful history of SAP. We're standing in front of maybe the biggest opportunity ever. It's been a great honor to have been working on getting us here over the last 3 years. I look forward to continuing that another year or so, 10 months. And I am excited that I can stay involved and help accelerate the success of SAP. Thank you. Bill?

William R. McDermott

I just wanted to acknowledge the importance of this day in the sense that we're going to continue to execute, Jim and I, as we always have right from the beginning, as Co-CEOs. And I'm really also super excited that with the approval of the voting body that Jim would be on the Supervisory Board, and not only do I get a great friend, but I'd have a mentor on the Supervisory Board that will help us get things done that benefit the company. We are truly a global software company. It is our time, and we really have a great future in front of us and we're not going to let anything stand in the way of that. So Jim and I remain every bit as committed as ever, as I know Hasso Plattner does. Thank you.

Stefan Gruber

Thank you very much. This concludes our press and analyst call for today. Thank you all for joining, and goodbye.

Operator

This concludes the SAP Conference Call. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.

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Source: SAP AG (ADR) Management Conducts Shareholder/Analyst Call (Transcript)
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