GA Trade May-Jun interactive - page 22

How has your own career
path influenced your work at SAP?
Peter David (PD):
I believe that
you have to leave your comfort zone
to grow, and you have to be flexible
in reinventing yourself. If you ask
me, that is the really cool thing
about SAP – SAP is constantly
reinventing itself. After graduating
from BerufsakademieMannheim,
I worked as a controller and financial
analyst for an established company
of 26,000 employees. After three
years, I took a risk and placed an ad
in the newspaper stating that I was
looking for a new career path. I got
a couple of offers, and one caught
my attention: a fewweeks later,
Dr. ClausWellenreuther, founder of
DCW Software offeredme a job in
his dining room over Saturdaymorn-
ing coffee. At first, it was difficult to
adapt from a large well-established
company to amid-sized Software
company but I jumped inwith both
feet. Dr. Wellenreuther was one of
the five founders of SAP, and that’s
how I came in contact with SAP.
In 1995, I transitioned to SAP.
At SAP, I’ve changed roles a few
times, working as CFO for SAP
Germany and also as CFO for EMEA
EmergingMarkets. Recently, we
aggregated our operations to form
onemega region - the Americas -
that serves our clients from Canada
to Chile. Just likeme, SAP has
transformed itself by relying on its
core competencies and its ability to
deliver our customers end-to-end
solutions, either on-premise or in
the Cloud. I feel like I have grown
with the company. When I started,
I was employee number 4,000
inGermany. Now, we have over
65,000 employees across the world.
How has your role as
CFO been transformed during the
past years?
Theworld around us is constant-
ly changingwith increasing speed. I
see new challenges like volatility in
markets, commodity prices and
stocks, an increased focus on risk, and
increased globalizationwith the need
for better corporatemanagement
across diverse cultures and new
technologies. These challenges are
here to stay.
In 2004, SAP started a long-term
finance transformation that helped to
address these new challenges and
allow the CFO to drive business
results via business partnering,
operational excellence and business
stewardship. The transformation
focused on adapting to globalization
with sharedfinancial services across
the company. This transformation has
changedmy role as CFO, givingme
more time to focus on Financial
Planning, Analytics, Strategy and
Business Support.
Ten years ago, most of our finance
functionswere handled from general-
ized local teams. Today, SAP Finance
W E L C O M E T O T H E C - S U I T E
Peter David
Chief Financial Officer, SAP Americas
IntroducingNewC-Level Executives to the
German-American Business Community
Chief FinancialOfficer, SAPAmericas
By Lindi vonMutius, GACC
GermanAmerican TradeMay/June 2014
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