UPDATE 1-McDermott steps down after decade as SAP's chief salesman and dealmaker

Douglas Busvine


* McDermott makes way for Morgan, Klein as co-CEOs

* Decided against renewing contract

* Exit follows entry of activist Elliott

* Focus now on cloud transition, margin expansion (New throughout)

BERLIN, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Bill McDermott stood down on Friday after a decade building up SAP as the world's leading enterprise software company, handing the task of completing its transition to cloud computing to new co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein.

SAP announced the management overhaul, with immediate effect, after rushing out third-quarter results that showed it gaining traction in its drive to offer a more streamlined range of services and boost profitability.

The announcement brings down the curtain on an era in which McDermott struck a string of multi-billion-dollar deals that helped establish SAP as Europe's pre-eminent technology group but also created complexity that frustrated many clients.

"SAP would not be what it is today without Bill McDermott," said Hasso Plattner, a co-founder of SAP who chairs the company's supervisory board.

"Bill made invaluable contributions to this company and he was a main driver of SAP's transition to the cloud, which will fuel our growth for many years to come."

The new leadership combines Morgan's focus on customer relationships in SAP's North American markets with Klein's background in process innovation that is rooted in SAP's German heritage.

Plattner founded the business in the early 1970s together with three former IBM colleagues and continues to exert decisive influence over SAP. The name of its HANA database is short for 'Hasso's New Architecture'. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christopher Cushing)

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