SAP has promoted the president for its Brazil business to lead the software giant's operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
President for SAP's Brazilian subsidiary since 2013, Cristina Palmaka will start in her regional role on August 1, replacing Claudio Murazabal, who also got promoted to lead the company's operations for Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Under the new role, Palmaka will be leading a team of 5,000 employees across the region and support a customer pool of 48,500 organizations. Murazabal will still be involved with the company's operation in Latin America and the Caribbean as chairman for the region. Palmaka will continue to oversee SAP Brazil's operations until a replacement is found.
"I am delighted that Cristina, one of our top-performing executives, will head our Latin America business, following a highly successful tenure as president of SAP Brazil. Cristina's impact on our business in Brazil has been far-reaching, and I look forward to her inspiring brand of leadership and engagement," said Adaire Fox-Martin, member of the SAP executive board and head of the company's customer success organization.
Under Palmaka's leadership, SAP's Brazilian business became one of the best-performing subsidiaries, the company said. The executive, who had previously held senior roles in technology companies including Microsoft and HP, has focused on themes such as staff development as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Other achievements included earning an EDGE certification for gender equality for the Brazilian operations.
In an interview with ZDNet in 2017, Palmaka talked about how she invests a great deal of time into understanding how technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics translate to the realities of clients in Brazil: "My mission is to explain the value of these innovations and introduce that in the high-level conversations I have with CEOs about how they can use technology to prepare their business for the next five to 10 years."
SAP's footprint in Brazil is significant in larger companies: within businesses with more than 800 users, SAP's market share reaches 50%. Overall, the German firm shares its market leadership with Totvs, a local enterprise software firm, according to research by Brazilian business school Fundação Getúlio Vargas.