SAP Appoints Cathy Smith to lead Africa Operations

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SAP Africa on Monday announced the appointment of Cathy Smith as managing director.

The company said Smith brings more than 25 years of leadership and technology experience to the role and is the first female leader of SAP Africa.

Smith joins SAP from Cisco, where she was MD for Sub-Saharan Africa, leading the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region.

Prior to that, she spent 23 years at IBM in a variety of leadership roles. As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Cathy is also committed to developing the next generation of value-based African leaders, capable of guiding and leading their countries, as they balance the demands of globalisation with local visions of a sustainable society

Steve Tzikakis, Regional President for EMEA South at SAP, says Smith is an experienced and inspirational leader who joins the business at an exciting time in the continent’s history.

Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa
Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa

“Africa is on the cusp of exponential growth and development enabled by digital technologies. As one of the foremost experts in driving digital transformation on the continent, Cathy is imminently suited to leading our Africa operations. We have great confidence in her ability to realise our innovation vision across our customer base.”

Supported by Steve and the newly bolstered SAP South Africa board, Smith assumes the responsibilities of her new role today.

Smith takes over from Claas Kuehnemann, who took on the role of acting managing director for SAP Africa over the past eight months and who now assumes a new leadership position with SAP in Switzerland.

Kuehnemann will remain closely allied with SAP Africa as he will continue to be a non-executive director on the SAP South Africa board.


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