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SAP Global Partner President Rodolpho Cardenuto Departs

The reason for his departure after more than a decade at SAP was not immediately clear.

Jeffrey Schwartz

December 6, 2018

3 Min Read

The president of SAP’s Global Partner Organization, Rodolpho Cardenuto, has left the company.


Rodolpho Cardenuto

Cardenuto, who spent more than a decade at SAP, was the company’s global partner chief for five years and was president of SAP Americas for a year and a half prior to that. SAP has 18,300 partners worldwide as of the third quarter of this year.

It was not immediately clear the reason for his departure or where he may surface next, but he was a last-minute scratch from a news briefing in New York scheduled Thursday, held by SAP’s partner organization to announce new partner incentives, among other things. Cardenuto didn’t immediately respond to a message asking for comment.

“We’re very happy for him and wish him the best, though sad to see him go,” said an SAP spokeswoman, in an emailed statement. “He really set up the foundation for the immense success that our Partner ecosystem has today.”

One insider who worked closely with Cardenuto said he was well-regarded at SAP and made significant accomplishments to its partner organization during a period of significant industry upheaval. The insider said he had hinted about moving on, noting his children are grown and he now has grandchildren.

Nevertheless, Cardenuto’s departure came as a surprise to Alain Dubois, business development officer at Montreal-based Beyond Technologies, an SAP partner in town for today’s news briefing.

“That’s surprising,” Dubois said, when asked for reaction from Channel Futures. Dubois described Cardenuto as a very customer-focused partner executive.

“He was very close to the customers and liked to meet with them,” Dubois said. “At the end of the day, if he believed that he understands what we’re doing with the customers and what the customers do, he’s helping us.”

Dubois said Cardenuto led SAP’s partner organization well at a time when the company and its partners faced significant technology and business model disruption.

“It’s a challenge just from an industry change and revenue standpoint,” he said. “When you look at the partners selling traditional software versus selling cloud software it has been a challenge with turning business models and all. He introduced numerous programs on how to evolve our business and look at our cost of acquisition of customers and look at our revenue stream, He was pushing the right tools. “

Cardenuto, who also spent more than eight years at HP, recently joined the board of semiconductor supplier Semtech, where he is a member of that company’s compensation committee. During his tenure, Cardenuto led the modernization of SAP’s PartnerEdge program with new tiers and engagement models.

It was not immediately clear who SAP will tap to replace Cardenuto, but his remaining team, iincluding Karl Fahrbach, head of global channels and is responsible for SAP’s indirect channel worldwide, will continue to drive SAP’s partner strategy, according to the spokeswoman and was scheduled to speak in his place at Thursday’s news conference.

Cardenuto’s departure comes as SAP is in the midst, similar to other traditional enterprise software suppliers, of shifting from perpetual licensing to subscriptions and cloud-based SaaS delivery. While the company has made significant progress on that front with strong IaaS, PaaS and SaaS alliances and development efforts, it is also trying to broaden its reach to midsize organizations.

SAP is also making a strong push to modernize the customer experience of its CRM applications, an emphasis the company outlined at this summer’s SAP Partner Summit in Orlando. Toward that end, SAP joined Adobe and Microsoft in supporting the Open Data Initiative, an effort to eliminate data siloes, at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in September.

The company also wants to extend its reach into online metrics, agreeing last month to acquire Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash. Qualtrics, which was planning an IPO, competes with better-known Survey Monkey.

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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