Cormac Watters, the suprise outsider choice for SAP's managing director Tim Noble's replacement, has been welcomed by grassroots SAP users because of his customer background.
Watters took over Noble's role last week, in the midst of an aggressive drive to get customers to adopt SAP's Hana and cloud products.
Watters' CV includes his most recent role as COO at technology distribution group DCC Exertis, CIO at bakery company Aryzta and president at ERP firm Lawson after it purchased Intentia.
Tech market view analyst Angela Eager commented: "He has a curious background for the lead role in SAP UKI but does have experience in both mature and fast growth companies, and in turning around businesses."
Despite this, the user group said it is "glad" a new MD has been appointed and believe this "curious" background will serve customers well.
Philip Adams, chairman, UK and Ireland SAP User Group, said: "He clearly understands us as customers, having been an SAP customer himself for many years. We were really impressed that he took the time to meet us in his first week and from our discussions it was clear he understood the issues and challenges customers are facing with their IT environments today - and more specifically their SAP deployments.
"Coming from a customer background, we think he'll really be able to strike a chord with our membership and help them better understand the innovations that SAP is bringing to market, and to achieve value from them."
Tim Noble left in May this year "to pursue opportunities outside of the company", an SAP spokesperson said.
Noble was MD between 2009 and 2011, leaving the role to take on more responsibility as senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2012, Noble returned to the MD position after Steve Winters lasted just six months. Analysts deemed the period as a "state of flux" for the vendor.
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