SAP Embarks on Next Wave of Long-Term Regional Growth

Published August 29th, 2010 - 07:06 GMT

SAP today announced that it has selected Sam Alkharrat to lead the next wave of SAP's growth and development in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).

Alkharrat has joined SAP MENA after having spent 16 years with Cisco Systems, where he held several leadership roles building Cisco's business in the MENA region. Most recently Sam held the position of Managing Director of the company's Public Sector business across the Emerging Markets, with responsibility for the segment's strategy and operations in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and MENA regions. Sam will be located at SAP's head office in Dubai.

Following a transition period working alongside Sergio Maccotta, current Managing Director of SAP MENA, Alkharrat will assume on October 1, 2010 full responsibility for SAP's business operations across the region.

Sergio Maccotta will take over the role of Vice President of Business Transformation and Development, as a member of the SAP EMEA Emerging Market Management Team and will remain based in Dubai. In this new challenge, Maccotta will continue to support the development of this larger region, MENA included, fostering innovation and exchanging initiatives and best practices among similar fast growing countries.

Maccotta has led the company's expansion in MENA since September 2007 when SAP established direct operations in the region. During this time the organization has grown rapidly and made significant progress in establishing itself as the business solution software partner of choice.

These milestones have all been achieved during a period in SAP MENA's history dedicated to quickly building a strong foundation for the business, establishing enduring relationships with customers and partners, and confirming SAP as a recognized contributor to the sustainable development and growth of the region. As this initial stage is now coming to completion, and SAP has a built a solid platform in MENA, SAP is looking to the next wave of growth and success.

Today, SAP MENA represents one of the fastest growing markets within SAP, largely due to the solid and progressive foundation established during this period.

Alkharrat will build on SAP's achievements in the region by continuing to place the customer at the centre of SAP's endeavours and bringing the full power of SAP's industry and solution knowledge to organizations in the region. He will be responsible for further expanding SAP's local ecosystem and extending the company's role as a contributor to the economic and knowledge-based development of these countries.

"Since SAP established direct operations in MENA, its progress has been widely acknowledged and celebrated and I am honoured to have been asked to lead the next stage of the company's development," said Alkharrat.

"The business has grown at an impressive rate through a combination of offering innovative and tailored business solutions to organizations of all sizes and by working closely with local partners, as well as industry and government bodies, to understand the needs of this unique and diverse region. I fully intend to continue the strong growth trend established by Sergio and to persist in developing a thriving and successful business for SAP," continued Alkharrat.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed helping SAP to become the leading provider of business software solutions in the MENA region. It gave me the opportunity to work alongside local organizations, with bold ambitions and aggressive goals. These companies recognize that making business operations more efficient and competitive requires technology advanced enough to offer global best practices as standard and innovative enough to adapt to local demands," commented Maccotta.

"SAP's long-term strategy for the MENA region has always been to build an organization that is fully attuned to the local and regional business environment and I am confident that Sam will take SAP MENA to even greater heights in the years to come. I look forward to working with Sam to ensure a smooth transition and continue in my new role to have the opportunity to further collaborate with our customers and partner in the region," concluded Maccotta.

Alkharrat has an extensive background in the ICT industry and joined Cisco Systems in 1994 in San Jose. During his time with the company he held many positions including systems engineering and service provider sales, general manager for the Gulf region in 2005, before taking the managing director role for Public Sector across Emerging Markets. Alkharrat holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo, and a Global Executive M.B.A. from Duke University. 

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