SAP Appoints Industry Expert from Tech Company Cisco to Lead Africa

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SAP Africa, a market leader in enterprise application software, has announced the appointment of Cathy Smith as Managing Director.

In a statement issued on March 12th, 2018, the company confirmed that Cathy will take over from Claas Kuehnemann, who took on the role of acting Managing Director for SAP Africa over the past eight months and who now assumes a new leadership position with SAP in Switzerland.

“Claas will remain closely allied with SAP Africa as he will continue to be a non-executive director on the SAP South Africa Board,” the company said in its statement.

SAP noted that Smith has more than 25 years of leadership and technology experience to the role and is the first female leader of SAP Africa.

Steve Tzikakis, Regional President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) South at SAP, described her as an experienced and inspirational leader who joins the business at an exciting time in the continent’s history.

“Africa is on the cusp of exponential growth and development enabled by digital technologies,” he explained.

“As one of the foremost experts in driving digital transformation on the continent, Cathy is imminently suited to leading our Africa operations. We have great confidence in her ability to realise our innovation vision across our customer base,” he added

Cathy joins SAP from Cisco, where she was Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, leading the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region. Prior to that, she spent 23 years at IBM in a variety of leadership roles.

“Augmenting a culture of leadership, high performance and accountability, both internally and externally, is the core of Cathy’s mandate. This appointment also reaffirms SAP’s commitment to empowering women in leadership and is in line with the company’s dedication to furthering South Africa’s employment equity and transformation agenda,” added Tzikakis.



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