If there was any doubt that executive reputation matters, take a look at what happened to SAP when Shai Agassi surprisedly resigned. SAP’s stock declined 24 percent upon the news.
Apparently Agassi, head of SAP’s software products, did not want to wait for current CEO Kagermann to retire sometime in 2009. Supervisory board chairman and founder Hasso Plattner said, “It became apparent that Shai was not comfortable committing to a 10 to 15 year period which was not in keeping with his personal career timeline.” Agassi is 38 years old and was looking at the “possibility” of becoming CEO when he neared 50. Reports say that Agassi is going to pursue interests in global climate change and environmentalism. Good for him.
It is not surprising that the young SAP executive does not want to wait til his hair turns gray to become CEO or co-CEO with Leo Apotheker. Many executives who are promised the CEO job never make it to day one. Either the CEO delays their leave date or the tension of waiting creates an unpleasant working environment for all those involved. Agassi probably made the right decision since 10 to 15 years is a long time to be on hold for an ambitious talented individual.
Despite the drama over Agassi’s resignation, it is clear that the reputation of an individual executive can make a significant impact on company reputation and carry a premium on the share price that is hard to overlook.
Technorati Tags: SAP, Shai Agassi, CEO Kagermann, Hasso Plattner, resign, executive reputation, premium, share price, company reputationAdd to: Technorati Digg del.icio.us Yahoo BlinkList Spurl reddit Furl