So how often does a CTO become CEO? Well not often it would seem in the case of SAP.
On 4 May 2014 Dr. Vishal Sikka, Executive Board Member for Products and Innovation, announced his departure from the Executive Board for personal reasons, effective immediately….and just 39 days later it was announced that Vishal becomes CEO of Infosys from August 1st. It had been mooted that Vishal was a future SAP CEO in the making.
Back in 2007 another rising star Shai Agassi, also responsible for technology and execution at SAP and also mooted to be next in line to head SAP departed suddenly following the extension of the then current CEO Henning Kaggerman.
So the moral of the story is …if you want to be CEO of SAP don’t come through the technology and innovation route!