President of SAP America resigns

The German software maker says the president of its U.S. operations, Chris Larsen, has recently departed, and a replacement has yet to be named.

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SAP said Tuesday the president of its U.S. operations, SAP America, has recently resigned, leaving the No. 2 spot vacant.

Chris Larsen resigned last week from SAP America to pursue other interests, the company said. No replacement has been named, and the company did not disclose any details of Larsen's future plans.

The departure comes as German software maker SAP continues to aggressively market and push the adoption of mySAP.com, its core suite of Internet-based applications. The company has faced some challenging quarters but posted strong fourth-quarter earnings last December, driven mainly by increased sales of its newer business software.

Like rivals Oracle, PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, SAP has been busy touting its newer suite of Web-friendly software that automates and manages a wide range of business activities, including financials, human resources, manufacturing, marketing and sales.

Also Tuesday, SAP said that chip giant Advanced Micro Devices will begin implementing mySAP.com software including its workplace and business intelligence applications in an effort to cut costs and increase revenues. Under the deal, SAP said, approximately 14,000 AMD employees will begin using the mySAP.com workplace portals to access information, applications and services.

SAP named Larsen president of SAP America in December 1999, at a time when it had been struggling with sagging sales and employee retention problems. Shortly after the appointment, current Chief Executive Wolfgang Kemna took over the top spot following the surprise departure of former CEO Kevin McKay.

Since his appointment, Kemna has been busy with a turnaround plan to help lift the software maker's sales and keep employees on board.

In October, the company, which has dual headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, and Newtown Square, Pa., unveiled plans to expand its headquarters in the United States, a move that could create 600 new jobs. Expansion plans calls for the development of a new resource center on the Newtown Square campus that would focus on research, development, customers and partners, as a way to help SAP better understand the business needs of its clients.