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Now it’s official – I’m moving on. It has been a blast!

To: All the amazing people I had the privilege to collaborate with over the years

Hi folks,

Last year’s changes made clear to me that it’s time for me to move on and leave SAP.  It took a while to sort things out, but now it’s official.

SAP has been 30 years of my life — my family would argue that it has actually been all my life.  30 years — how crazy is that?

When I joined SAP in 1988 as a student after a job interview with Klaus Tschira, the company had roughly 500 employees.  It’s unbelievable how far we’ve all come together since then.  From German startup to global leader — how amazing! I am so proud of all of what we have jointly achieved.  All the years I tried to do my part to help make the world run a little better and improve people’s lives a tiny bit every day — thru working with great colleagues at SAP, working with our equally impressive customers and unbelievably innovative partners.

Over all those years we’ve delivered so many products I can barely recall all of them.  In the technology space alone, we expanded from on premises NetWeaver to the Cloud with SAP Cloud Platform and all its environments, from client-server to cloud-native, from relational DB to HANA in-memory, from R/3 to S/4 HANA, from ABAP to Java to bring-your-own-language, from software to service, from proprietary to open standards and open source, from waterfall to agile & lean to DevOps, from SAP Data Centers only to a multi-cloud strategy with AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, from license to subscription to pay-per-use, from serving SAP applications only to innovating together with an amazing open partner ecosystem, growing SAP Cloud Platform from basically zero to more than 10.000 customers in less than 3 years.  We did all that and so much more while doing our best to ensure that our customers and partners weren’t lost on that journey.  And I believe we didn’t screw it up by and large.

Steve Jobs once said that “your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

I’ve always loved what I did during my time at SAP.  But it would be wrong to compromise on that ever.  So I decided that it’s time for me to move on.  Not an easy decision for sure after all those years.  I’m leaving with a bit of sadness to not see us continue together on SAP’s journey, but I am for sure also excited and curious to explore and figure out what’s to come next for me.

Nothing we’ve ever achieved would have been possible without you — amazing people that collaborated jointly to turn great ideas into amazing innovations for the business. Without all your commitment and passion and believe in the greater cause to literally “make the world run better and improve people’s lives”.  Perhaps we didn’t always do everything right, but we were striving to do the right thing all the time.  And most importantly: we did do!  We did not just think or talk.  We did — we invented, we created, we built, we delivered, we created impact.  And that’s more important than anything else.  “For Nature cannot be fooled.” [R. Feynman]

I know my colleagues, our counterparts at our customers and partners, all the SAP Mentors and the broader SAP Community have put all their best efforts, all their passion and all their commitment in to make “us all” successful.  I will remain grateful for that!  Working with such great individuals meant everything to me in all those years and it always will do in the future.

A big THANK YOU to each of you who supported me in contributing my own part to making us more successful! Jointly you will continue rocking and I am convinced:  You’re going to leave a dent in the universe with what you do! Just keep dreaming of what could be and remain curious how to actually turn it into reality!  All the rest will kick in in due time.

Looking back, I am grateful for the time I could be a part of this mind-boggling journey over the past 30 years.  It was so much fun.  SAP, our customers and partners – all the individuals behind the brand names big and small –  and the spirit and attitude they contribute to the bigger whole – this is what makes working at SAP so unique!  I will remain in awe for this company, our customers and partners.

“No one’s future has been written yet.  It’s you who creates your future.  So better make it a good one.”

Take care,
Björn

 

Twitter // @_bgoerke
LinkedIn // bjoerngoerke

 

12 Comments
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  • Björn – I have no doubts that run 85/2019 will lead you to a new and exciting destination, and inspired by your space themes over the last few TechEd’s, Disney’s Buzz Lightyear character provides us with a few small glimpses into the leadership traits that you’ve demonstrated to your minions here at SAP:

    To Infiinty and Beyond!

    Best Regards,

    Jeremy

  • “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

    I salute you. You made memories, and SAP won’t be the same without you.

    • I’m speechless.  And in tears.  Don’t know what to say.  Thank you, Martina, for the kind words!  Saluting back!  All the best!

  • We are all explorers, driven to know what’s over the horizon, what’s beyond our own shores. And yet… the more I’ve experienced, the more I’ve learned… that no matter how far we travel, or how fast we get there… the most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star. They’re within us – woven into the threads that bind us – all of us – to each other.

     

    – Captain Jonathan Archer

  • Hi Bjoern,

    what a great way to say good-bye and i’m sure that it was a very hard decision to make. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, the larger SAP community here, even if on a less cheerful note.

    thirty years at any company is a great achievement, but it’s truly amazing that you had started when SAP were just 500 people. i’m sure the next chapter will be at least as great as this one.

    cheers, greg

  • I came across this today, and thought of you – the cloud reference somehow works 🌈☁️

    You may not control all events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

    Maya Angelou

     

    • How true! I’ll do my best!

      How much fun it was being on stage with you last October during the TechEd keynote! Keep the great spirit!

      All the best to you!

      Björn