Bill McDermott

SAP's American Dream

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    SAP has become so successful that it is now snapping at the heels of U.S. market leaders Microsoft and Oracle.

  • Facts


    • Bill McDermott took over as sole chief executive of SAP in May 2014.
    • This year, SAP expects to log record net profits of €3.6 billion – 16.5 percent more than last year.
    • Since May 2014, the firm’s share price has risen 47 percent to more than €80 per share, helping it claim the top spot on the DAX index.
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Bill McDermott, SAP AG
Bill McDermott has been at the helm of SAP since 2014. Source: Marc-Steffen Unger for Handelsblatt

Bill McDermott is tired of answering questions about the accident that almost cost him his life. It’s been almost one and a half years since the chief executive of software company SAP fell down a flight of stairs at his brother’s house, landed on a water glass and nearly bled to death.

Doctors spent months treating him, yet for all their efforts they couldn’t save Mr. McDermott’s left eye. Now, a pair of dark glasses hides some of the damage, but the scars on the left side of his face down to his neck are still visible.

“I’m alright. I’m a fighter,” Mr. McDermott said when asked about his injuries.

He plans to reveal the events that led up to the accident and his recovery in a new book. The SAP boss likes to tell stories, especially success stories. When he has time, he sits down at this laptop and writes – usually during long flights around the globe on his way to visit customers.

Mr. McDermott travels a lot. He spends more than half his time working outside the company’s headquarters in Walldorf, southern Germany. Usually, he’s with customers, spreading the word about Europe’s largest IT business. And his tireless efforts have paid off – SAP is more successful than ever.

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