Sybase CEO to leave SAP

CEO John Chen will leave the software maker today, saying "it's time" for him to relinquish his reins after paving the way for a smooth integration between both companies.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SAP will bid farewell to Sybase CEO John Chen on Thursday, after the executive said it was time to let go of his ownership reins over the mobile applications developer. 

Bloomberg reported Wednesday the CEO will step down today after 15 years at Sybase, notably helping steer the integration process between SAP and the mobile software company after the former acquired it for US$5.8 billion in 2010. He also helped the German company expand its customer base from IT backend environments to customer-facing frontend staff who need access to corporate data while on the move, it noted.

Chen told Bloomberg: "It's time for me to relinquish the ownership of this franchise. I always thought about this like marrying off your daughter. You know it's the right thing to do, you just want to hold on a little more--but it's time to move on to other challenges."

His departure appears inevitable though, after being overlooked by SAP to join in the company's top management during the transition. By contrast, SuccessFactors founder Lars Dalgaard became a member of the executive board while Ariba CEO Bob Calderoni was invited to the company's global management board following their acquisitions, the report noted.

Chen took over Sybase in 1998 after four consecutive years of net losses. His initiative to shift the company's focus from database maker to mobile technology paid off as it was reaping a profit for seven years when SAP bought it.

He has not decided on his next move though, with options ranging from founding a startup to running a large company.

"It's going to be in technology, I don't have any other skills. I've been working hard until this point and I'd now like to take a look at things," said Chen in the report.





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