SAP global channel chief Cardenuto is leaving company

The surprise announcement comes before an announcement where Cardenuto had been scheduled to speak. No successor has been immediately named, and SAP says no changes to channel policies should be anticipated, as Cardenuto’s channel leadership team remains in place.

Rodolpho Cardenuto, at the 2015 SAP SME Summit

Rodolpho Cardenuto, the President of SAP’s Global Partner Organization, is leaving the company.

Cardenuto had been scheduled to be a feature speaker at the company’s SAP Partner Business Forum event in New York City. Formerly called the SME Summit, and held for global media and analysts, the one-day event has been held in the late fall since 2014 to highlight the contribution of SAP’s channel partners to the company’s success. Cardenuto has been regularly featured at the event in recent years, so his non-appearance itself would have been noteworthy.

SAP has confirmed that Cardenuto himself made the decision to leave, in order to pursue his next endeavor. Companies often make such statements when an executive leaves, and then the departee’s social media indicates that endeavor consisted of running their own consulting company, until their next gig is secured nine months down the line. In this case though, there seems little reason to doubt the official story. Cardenuto has always juggled many balls, pursuing interests on outside boards and being actively involved in social organizations, and may have decided he had reached the age where if he had one more major thing he wanted to do, this was the time to do it.

“Rodolpho made the decision to leave at the end of the year, and felt that given this, his presence as a chief spokesperson for SAP at this event would cause unnecessary confusion, so he decided not to be involved in the event,” a company executive told ChannelBuzz. He had been scheduled to speak in a program agenda prepared earlier this week.

No public decision has been announced as to a successor, although that could change quickly – possibly, although unlikely, as early as later today. The SAP executive noted that  Cardenuto has established a deep bench in the Global Partner Organization, including Karl Fahrbach, SVP and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Partner Organization. All these executives remain in their roles, and no short-term changes should be anticipated as a result of the move.

Channel leaders are a notoriously mobile group, but Cardenuto’s tenure has been more notable than most because he has been the only leader the Global Partner Organization has had since it was created in 2014, in a restructuring of SAP’s channel operations the paralleled the structural changes in leadership at that time, as SAP transitioned from its unusual co-CEO model to its present single leader, current CEO Bill McDermott. While the previous channel leader had reported to SAP’s president of Global Customer Operations, Cardenuto reported directly to McDermott, in what was seen as a visible sign of the increased role of the channel in SAP’s operations.

“The formation of our new Global Partner Operations organization is key to driving scale and adoption of the SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA,” McDermott said at the time.

The Brazilian-born Cardenuto had been president of SAP Americas for a year before assuming the GPO leadership, and President of SAP, Latin America for four and a half years before that. He came to SAP from HP, where he had spent seven years running their Latin American sales.

ChannelBuzz will report any news on SAP’s channel leadership situation as it evolves.

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