SAP Sapphire: SAP claims it will add jobs but side-steps questions on layoffs

By Sooraj Shah
03 Jun 2014 View Comments
SAP headquarters in Germany

Senior executives from software vendor SAP have continued to side-step questions on rumoured layoffs at its annual Sapphire Now conference in Orlando.

The German firm's CEO, Bill McDermott, told media and analysts at the conference that SAP has had to become more "simple" internally, so that it can react faster to its customers' needs. 

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"We've already taken measures within SAP to get focused more on the customer and have fewer layers in the company so we can respond and be more agile," he said.

According to reports, this "focus" involves up to 2,000 job cuts, but McDermott aimed to quell such rumours by claiming that the firm is actually adding to its workforce.

"Let me be crystal clear, we are adding jobs at SAP; at the end of the year we will have more jobs than we do now," he said.

"It is true that if you are working on yesterday's project instead of tomorrow's then you may have to be redeployed or learn something different," he added.

The company had more than 66,000 employees at the end of 2013, according to its most recent annual report, and McDermott alluded to having 67,000 SAP employees in his keynote earlier today.

Deepak Krishnamurthy, senior vice president and head of corporate strategy at SAP, told Computing that the changes at SAP are not unusual.

"In any company, there is a constant attrition and churn of people. There is no structured programme that we have - we are not having mass layoffs.

"Yes, we're going through an innovation curve; we are training people and we will see new opportunities being created at SAP. We're going to have a much more cloud-centric portfolio, so we need a workforce that is designed to deliver that," he said.

Krishnamurthy added that the new skills necessary at SAP would focus on developing on the HANA platform.

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