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SAP shuffles management chores

German software giant says the changes will help it respond more quickly to customer demands.

Enterprise software giant SAP has restructured its management ranks so it can respond to customer demands more quickly, the company said Tuesday.

Shai Agassi and Peter Zencke, members of the executive board, face the greatest changes to their roles, though two other executives will also take on added responsibilities.

Shai Agassi
Shai Agassi,
Exec board, SAP

The changes take effect immediately.

Under the restructuring, Agassi is now responsible for all software, services and related development of existing SAP products, and for integrating them into a technology platform. That role will include SAP's NetWeaver.

Agassi also oversees the company's Business Solution Groups, which includes its customer relationship management and supply chain management software. In addition, he is responsible for product and industry marketing.

Peter Zencke
Peter Zencke,
Exec board, SAP

Zencke will oversee research, including application development of SAP's Business Process Platform.

Claus Heinrich will remain head of human resources, but he will also now manage all of the company's research and development centers. He is also responsible for final production and delivery of SAP software.

Leo Apotheker will continue to oversee global sales, but he now also heads up global marketing--a responsibility previously handled by SAP's chief executive, Henning Kagermann.

One analyst said he has no concerns about the changes.

"I don't think this is a fundamental change to the company's management. It just clarifies what everyone does," said Charles Di Bona, an analyst with Bernstein & Co.