SAP retools global comms to align top execs with target audiences

WALLDORF, GERMANY: Enterprise software giant SAP has reorganized its global communications structure to have its top executives more aligned with four key audiences - customers, investors, employees, and the public. Some of the positions previously had not been geared to audiences.

WALLDORF, GERMANY: Enterprise software giant SAP has reorganized its global communications structure to have its top executives more aligned with four key audiences - customers, investors, employees, and the public. Some of the positions previously had not been geared to audiences.

"It became very clear to me that we needed new resources to help create an organization that could respond to a changing environment and market very aggressively," explained Herbert Heitmann, head of SAP global communications. "It's not just about creating press releases.

It's about being thought leaders and a dominant player in global business."

The new structure will focus more consistent and aligned communications, getting away from announcement-driven PR.

Completing the communications executive management team are SVP of internal communications Torsten Busse, SVP of investor relations Stefan Gruber, SVP of product communications Anne McCarthy, and new hire Chris Sorek, who will serve as SVP of the newly formed public communications division.

Sorek came from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva.

Hewlett-Packard also recently realigned its in-house PR units around audiences (PRWeek, July 26, 2004).

Heitmann said that with its global reach, Burson-Marsteller, SAP's AOR, will be able to help with its goal of more coherent and consistent communications.

Heidi Sinclair, chairwoman of Burson's global tech practice, said SAP's realignment will lead to only minor adjustments in the way the agency works with the company.

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