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SAP Australia User Group CEO Mark Baker to Step Down

Successor Hasn’t Been Named, Understanding the Departure of SAUG CEO Mark Baker

by Rizal Ahmed, President and Head of Research SAP S/4HANA and Cloud, SAPinsider

October 17, 2019

sydney skyline

The SAP Australia User Group (SAUG) announced today that Mark Baker will leave his post as CEO next month, November 22, 2019. Baker’s departure comes on the heels of the announcement that SAP CEO Bill McDermott is stepping down.

SAUG is one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific region, boasting more than 3,500 members from over 400 companies. Baker has led the user group since February 2012. The board of SAUG has not named a successor and is currently conducting a search for Baker’s replacement.

mark baker

Mark Baker, soon-to-be-former CEO of SAP Australia User Group (SAUG)

SAUG’s Statement on Baker’s Departure

Let me first congratulate and thank Mark for everything he’s done in his distinguished SAUG career,” writes Matthew Perry, President of the SAUG Board, in a press release. “He’s been a pleasure to work with, and I wish him all the very best in his future endeavors. We are extremely grateful for the numerous successful initiatives and significant contribution Mark has made to SAUG’s transformation. He has turned the SAUG from a financially struggling organization into one with a very strong balance sheet, despite introducing new initiatives and members services and engaging increased staff numbers to deliver these. The current solid financial base will allow SAUG to continue to introduce new initiatives and services well into the future, delivering greater value to our members.”  

What It Means for SAPinsiders

Locals will feel it more. Those who live in the region and are members of the user group will, of course, be more affected. Don’t expect massive changes to the core services or offerings, but you may see the gradual introduction of new options for membership and education depending on the direction of the new leader. Even during major changes in leadership within the SAP North American User Group, the membership saw little significant change immediately.

Pressures on transformation and innovation will drive more changes within the ecosystem. It feels like this is still only the beginning of changes in strategy, personnel, and leadership. More changes will undoubtedly impact not just SAP but its community of partners, user groups, and solution providers. The undercurrent of technology and business change will only intensify as we progress beyond 2025.

Recent SAPinsider research shows that pressures to transform strategy, processes, and architecture are the most significant catalysts for change within our members’ organizations. In our State of the Market benchmark studies on the Move to SAP S/4HANA and Cloud Migration as well as our most recent report on Building the Business Case, we found that the growing demands to support digital transformation initiatives and to reconstruct technical infrastructure to be modern and flexible are among the top drivers of overall business and IT strategy.

This accelerating pace of change is forcing most organizations to think very differently about how they deploy technology to support the business and will continue to upend traditional approaches, methodologies, and technologies.  

SAPinsiders should remain opportunistic. While change can be scary and overwhelming, it can also create opportunity for those that are part of the organization and ecosystem. Stay close to these changes. Understand what they mean and why they’re happening, so you can anticipate how your role and organization may be affected. Invest in the skillsets that are becoming more important —specifically related to SAP HANA, the cloud, and intelligent technologies — and actively seek to understand the relationship between these technologies and your business strategy.  

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