Wahl will be replaced by Kevin McKay, chief operating officer for SAP America. McKay also has joined SAP's so-called Extended Management Board.
"Paul Wahl was a significant contributor to SAP, starting with the launch of R/3 and most recently in management of the Americas region," said Dietmar Hopp, chairman of the SAP supervisory board, in a statement. "His keen interest in new and emerging technologies led him to pursue his life-long ambition of bringing a start-up venture with promising technology to market. We wish him much success in his new endeavor."
Wahl will join TriStrata Security as chief executive officer later this month, a TriStrata spokeswoman said.
"There's a tremendous opportunity to make an impact in the computer industry," Wahl said. "I like to build something, and the opportunity here is to build something."
McKay joined SAP America in 1995 as chief financial officer.
Last month, SAP made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SAP."