|Bid||144.22 x 1300|
|Ask||144.22 x 800|
|Day's range||141.49 - 145.57|
|52-week range||113.60 - 167.56|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||120.10|
|Earnings date||25 Nov 2019 - 29 Nov 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||186.97|
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(Bloomberg) -- SAP SE is sticking to its new plan of keeping the company youthful, and top management isn’t being spared.The storied German software giant, Europe’s biggest tech company by market value, has spent the past few years attempting to reinvent itself. It’s working to adapt its corporate software, used by almost all of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, to the web and is taking on younger rivals in cloud-based computing.There’s also been an exodus of company veterans, which as of 12:44 a.m. Friday in Walldorf, included CEO Bill McDermott.Analysts have called the late-night news a surprise; McDermott’s contract doesn’t run out until 2021. He also unveiled a major restructuring plan in April and was expected to brief investors on the company’s strategy next month.But, as he said on a conference call after the announcement, “Ten years is a long time to be CEO.”McDermott, 58, had been with the company since 2002 when he joined as head of its North American business. At the time, he was that unit’s fourth head in three years as SAP struggled to compete with rivals like Oracle Corp., and grappled with a drop in sales of software licenses. Problems with its products were blamed for delayed shipments of Whirlpool Corp.’s appliances and even Hershey’s Halloween chocolates.In the role, he recruited a new management team, changed the way the sales department targeted customers, and ultimately boosted sales growth. When CEO Leo Apotheker unexpectedly resigned in 2010, McDermott and product-development head Jim Snabe were picked to replace him as co-CEOs. Snabe -- currently chairman of Siemens AG -- stepped down and took a spot on the board in 2014, and McDermott became sole head of the company.With nearly 100,000 employees and a sprawling business that generated about $27 billion in revenue last year, driving change has sometimes been controversial. Since 2011, McDermott spent $26 billion on six major cloud acquisitions, and was the main advocate for the $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics International Inc., the company’s largest-ever deal.Analysts criticized the purchase as too expensive. In November, Qualtrics said it expected revenue for 2018 to exceed $400 million, a figure that wouldn’t move the needle much for SAP. McDermott defended the deal, believing that combining SAP’s sales force and a trove of operational data with Qualtrics’s customer experience feedback would accelerate growth.More recently, the company attracted the interest of activists at Elliott Management Corp., which revealed its 1.2 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) stake when SAP announced a change in strategy in April. SAP had been vague at the time, saying it planned “new initiatives to accelerate operational excellence and value creation” with a focus on “tuck-in” acquisitions.SAP underwent a management shakeup in the weeks preceding the April announcement. The president of its cloud business, 27-year SAP veteran Robert Enslin, had announced his departure earlier that month. It was later revealed he’d left for Google. A day earlier, Chief Technology Officer Bjoern Goerke, another cloud expert based in the U.S., penned a blog post saying he was leaving the company he joined as a student in 1988. Board member Bernd Leukert, a seasoned IT executive, left SAP in February.Personally, McDermott also had to weather a near-fatal accident in 2015 that cost him an eye when he fell down some stairs while carrying a water glass and nearly bled to death.His replacements are a mix of old and new guard at SAP. Christian Klein, 39, spent the past 20 years at SAP, after joining as a student in 1999. Jennifer Morgan, 48, arrived in 2004 and was the first American woman on the company’s executive board. Morgan has been seen as McDermott’s protege, rising relatively quickly through the ranks, and most recently served as the president of the all-important cloud group.Together, Klein and Morgan will have to find a way to compete with younger companies like Salesforce.com Inc. and Workday Inc. while encumbered by a traditional enterprise software business.Cloud is the company’s clear growth engine, with revenue increasing about 32% last year to about 5 billion euros. Sales from its largest business, which helps clients set up and implement SAP’s software, grew less than 1% in 2019.McDermott’s resignation was announced alongside better-than-expected preliminary third-quarter earnings results. New bookings for the company’s cloud products, a key metric that indicates future sales, grew 33% on a constant-currency business. That was more than double the pace set in the second quarter, when disappointed investors sent shares down as much as 10%.“While it is a shock to see Mr. McDermott stepping down, he is clearly handing over the reins of the business from a position of strength and we are encouraged to see that his replacements are long-term members of the SAP executive team,” said Thomas Fitzgerald, fund manager at SAP shareholder Edentree Investment Management, in a note on Friday.\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at email@example.com;Kit Rees in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- SAP SE named executives Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein as the successors to Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott, who’s stepping down after leading Europe’s largest software company during a decade of major industry changes.The two SAP veterans will become co-CEOs effective immediately, the company said Thursday in a statement. McDermott, 58, will remain at the company in an advisory role through the end of the year.Shares of SAP rose as much as 8.4% in Frankfurt on Friday, the most since April, and are up 31% for the year.Morgan, 48, who joined SAP in 2004, most recently served as president of the software giant’s cloud business group. She became the first American woman appointed to SAP’s executive board in 2017 when she was named president of the Americas and Asia. Klein, 39, joined SAP as a student in 1999 and has been chief operating officer since April 2016, and on the executive board since 2018.McDermott’s departure was unexpected, but the new co-CEOs were on investors’ “short-list” to take over in future, Citigroup analysts including Walter Pritchard said in a note.“The decision was made based on my determination that 10 years is a long time to be CEO,” McDermott said on a conference call after the announcement. “You get to the point when you have done what you set out to do and then some.”McDermott joined Walldorf, Germany-based SAP in 2002 and was the first American to hold the CEO position at the firm. He embraced cloud computing, changing the way SAP sold software so customers could use it over the internet. He’s been transitioning the company through acquisitions and revamped products, challenging rivals Salesforce.com Inc. and Oracle Corp.While SAP had pledged to triple cloud revenue by 2023, the effort has shown mixed results and the company has pushed to shore up profit margins with the support of activist investor Elliott Management.Earlier, SAP reported preliminary third-quarter revenue and profit that topped analysts’ estimates. Cloud bookings, a key metric in the company’s transition, increased 33% on a constant currency basis, more than double the pace of the second quarter, the company said.SAP’s 3Q results “will likely be received positively and we’d expect will drive a relief in shares,” Citi said in its note.McDermott cited the strong results as a reason for the timing of the leadership change, saying he wanted to give his successors the reins while the company is at “maximum strength.”Morgan said she was only three hours into her tenure so didn’t know what changes she might push for, but expressed optimism in the leadership structure.“I’m a very big believer that when two people come together, you can really get a lot done,” she said on the conference call.McDermott said he was uncertain about his future plans.“I will do something at some point,” he said. “But today’s SAP’s day. There is no doubt in my mind the future of SAP is even brighter now.”(Updates with comments, context and shares throughout.)\--With assistance from Joe Easton.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital has bought Silicon Valley's biggest independent agency, Firewood, for $150 million in its latest deal to form a purely digital global advertising firm. The world's best-known advertising boss is building up the new venture following his departure from ad giant WPP, sealing deals for digital content that runs on platforms like Facebook and Google, and the automated placing of ads online. Sorrell said digital growth was "on fire" and his focus on it meant he was currently involved in five large pitches.
Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, swears by transcendental meditation.
(Bloomberg) -- Zendesk Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mikkel Svane recently hosted a routine two-cocktail lunch for more than a dozen employees celebrating four years at his company and realized he no longer recognized most of his workforce.“I know there’s a lot of shiny objects out there, so I want to thank you for spending four years with the company,” Svane said to the employees. “Four years is a big number in the world of tech startups.”While the maker of customer-service software has been public since May 2014, co-founder Svane continues to think of it as a startup. Annual revenue growth has been more than 30% and analysts estimate it will top $1 billion in 2020. Zendesk has seen its stock jump almost eightfold since its initial public offering, and its workforce increase to 3,200 from less than 1,000 five years ago. Svane has sought to bolster his skills and assemble a strong team to manage all of them.Over the last year, the company has taken a series of steps to compete head-to-head against Salesforce.com Inc. It’s difficult to mount a serious challenge to the bellwether cloud applications company built by Marc Benioff. But Zendesk wants to expand while retaining transparent pricing and its distinctive quirks -- and avoiding the bragging that is a hallmark of the business technology market.On Thursday, during a user conference in San Francisco, Zendesk unveiled two more products meant to maintain sales momentum.The first is Sunshine Conversations, an extension of the company’s platform for managing customer relationships. The tool will help consumers make payments, browse products and book reservations in their preferred messaging system, Zendesk said in a statement.The second is called Gather, which will let clients such as Logitech International SA and InVision AG better provide customer support through online forums on their websites.The new products may help attract more large corporate customers. The company’s software already is used by Uber Technologies Inc., Airbnb Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. -- companies born in the cloud-computing era that have grown alongside Zendesk.Chief Financial Officer Elena Gomez said Zendesk’s sales growth rate of more than 30% is sustainable.“For the foreseeable future, I would call that almost our floor,” she said in an interview.Svane, Alexander Aghassipour and Morten Primdahl founded Zendesk in Copenhagen in 2007. The company moved to San Francisco in 2009. Perhaps because he’s an outsider, Svane is the rare tech CEO who doesn’t see his job in grandiose terms.“Everybody wants to be Steve Jobs and change the world,” Svane said in an interview in a brick-lined boardroom that doubles as his office. “And for most of us, that’s not really the case. We build business software.”Still, the company has a strong philosophy on its work. It coined the word “humblident” -- a mash-up of humble and confident -- to describe its culture. While the word doesn’t roll off the tongue, executives said it’s an accurate way of describing the company’s demeanor, which they say is confident without being arrogant, and eager to earn the trust of clients.On Wednesday, Zendesk disclosed it suffered a data breach affecting 10,000 customer accounts created before November 2016. Hackers gained access to the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of business users and consumers, as well as concealed password information. Zendesk discovered the security lapse on Sept. 24 and said it found no evidence the passwords were used to access additional systems. The company said it hired forensic experts to assist with an investigation and notified law enforcement.“Our goal is to communicate this information as quickly as possible with transparency and guidance on how to address,” Zendesk said in a blog post. “We will be updating and sharing more information in this blog post and our help center as it becomes available.”Svane hopes to change the experience of business software users and their consumers so that their systems are simpler. He said most software is sold on “PowerPoints and lies” and he’s always wanted Zendesk to be different. The company has explicit pricing for its products on its website and pitches customers on the value of its software versus Salesforce.But Salesforce is the market leader. The company generates $3.6 billion from customer-service software each year, as well as $4 billion from its signature sales-tracking tool that has become the standard of the industry.Zendesk has competed well against Salesforce for small- and mid-sized clients though. Last year, Salesforce said it would sunset two sales and customer support tools that failed to catch on with smaller customers. Instead, Salesforce began offering pared-down versions of its high-end software.Zendesk has experienced some growing pains. After going public, new executives joined the company, leading to a period of cultural clashes and sales struggles. In the aftermath, Zendesk in August 2017 promoted Chief Information Officer Tom Keiser to chief operating officer, overseeing the sales organization and many operations as Svane focused on technology, vision and culture. The arrangement is similar to the one Salesforce has between co-CEOs Benioff, who co-founded the company, and Keith Block.Zendesk has also hired senior executives from Salesforce, Microsoft Corp., and Adobe Inc., who have experience running pieces of large organizations. Svane is open about needing as much help as he can get.“I still have a lot of work to do to be a fantastic CEO,” Svane said. “I think I’m a pretty good founder and I think having a founder CEO is a strength for a company because every single employee knows that I’m in it because I think it’s the most amazing thing and that I’m dedicated.”To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- Every two weeks, Jeff Bezos holds a meeting with Washington Post engineers in part to discuss a product called Arc, which helps companies publish online. The software is a growing part of the Post’s business -- albeit less visible than its scoops about the Trump administration.Now, Arc is expanding into a new market, striking a deal with its first nonmedia customer: BP Plc. The energy giant’s communications team will use Arc’s software to publish articles and videos to its 70,000 employees across 250 internal websites, newsletters and a future mobile app.“We realized that many large companies are essentially publishers,” said Fred Ryan, the Post’s publisher.Post executives say Arc’s suite of tools makes it easier for companies to post on different platforms -- including apps, mobile websites, newsletters and social media -- and make money through advertising or subscriptions.The Post created the Arc licensing business in 2014 by giving what had been its newsroom’s proprietary software away free to college newspapers. Its customer base has expanded to media companies that run more than 600 websites globally, including the Boston Globe, Tribune Publishing Co. and Raycom Media Inc. Now, the Post sees a chance to license its software to companies beyond the media industry.Surging SalesArc has about 250 employees, with many engineers working out of an office in Chicago. Its sales tripled from 2016 to 2017 and then more than doubled the following year. Within the next three years, Arc expects to generate $100 million in annual revenue, said Shailesh Prakash, chief information officer and vice president of product at the Washington Post. Arc isn’t yet profitable, Prakash said, but he sees it becoming the Post’s third major revenue stream.“I’m very confident this will be comparable to our advertising and subscriptions business,” Prakash said.Arc is one of a few companies that sell publishing technology. One of them is WordPress.com, whose parent company, Automattic Inc., raised $300 million this month from the tech giant Salesforce.com Inc. Vox Media Inc., owner of the Verge, Eater and Recode websites, licenses its publishing platform, called Chorus, to media outlets such as the Ringer, led by Bill Simmons.Arc has an advantage, Prakash said, because it is tied to Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud computing operation, Amazon Web Services, and is built by the Washington Post.“We have cranky journalists who demand and use this every day, so there’s nowhere for me to hide,” Prakash said.Strategic DecisionsPrakash said he often talks to Bezos about strategic decisions with Arc and has showed him demos of the software. Bezos recently suggested that Arc switch to a serverless architecture that has made the product faster and cheaper to run, he said.Having Bezos as an owner has also helped the Post recruit and retain engineers, Ryan said.“You could be a top engineer at any one of the major tech platforms, but it would probably be unlikely that you’d be engaging with the CEO of that company on any regular basis,” Ryan said. “But here, you have these engineers who roughly every two weeks are engaging with Jeff Bezos, one of the leading technologists of our time.”To contact the reporter on this story: Gerry Smith in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.com, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. has gathered a broad coalition of companies in an effort to speed up the widespread adoption of voice-activated assistants including its own Alexa.The e-commerce giant on Tuesday announced the Voice Interoperability Initiative, a group of some 36 companies committed to ensuring voice software made by different companies works seamlessly together. Notably absent were two of Amazon’s biggest rivals in voice technology: Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, two companies that hold keys to a smartphone market Amazon has yet to crack.The Seattle company, whose Fire-branded smartphones were a commercial flop, is the leader in voice software for the home. Its Echo devices accounted for 25.4% of global smart speaker shipments in the second quarter, according to Canalys, a researcher. Plenty of home appliance makers link their products to Alexa, and Amazon is expected to announce new capabilities and devices for its assistant at a press event on Wednesday.But Alexa has a small presence on mobile devices, which could threaten its long-term future, analysts say. Software built by Google and Apple powers virtually all of the world’s smartphones, giving the two companies a captive audience thanks to the versions of Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri installed by default on new devices. Currently, users can’t make Alexa the default assistant on an iPhone, although that’s possible on Android handsets.Dave Limp, who leads Amazon’s devices business, told The Verge that the company didn’t see voice assistants as a winner-take-all market. “This isn’t a sporting event,” he said. “There’s not going to be one winner.”Limp also told the technology news site that the idea for an industry coalition went from casual conversations to a more formal effort in the last six weeks.A Google spokesman said Amazon reached out about the idea over the weekend. “We just heard about this initiative and would need to review the details,” the spokesman said in an statement. “But in general we’re always interested in participating in efforts that have the broad support of the ecosystem and uphold strong privacy and security practices.”Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Under the goals set by the new group, users will be able to summon multiple digital assistants from a single device, a concept that already links Amazon’s Alexa with Microsoft Corp.’s Cortana workplace-focused assistant. In addition to Amazon, backers include Microsoft, Baidu Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc., chipmakers Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc, and Sony Corp., Spotify Technology SA and Sonos Inc.“I think this is very smart from Amazon,” said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst with Creative Strategies. Giving users the option say, to invoke Google for maps and Alexa to control smart home gadgets “will give Amazon a better chance to get picked for those tasks that matter to Amazon.”The new group’s priorities include developing voice services that work seamlessly with others, building devices that can be activated by multiple wake words, developing technology that makes it easier to embed multiple voice assistants on a single device and accelerating research into conversational artificial intelligence to improve such software’s ability to work together, according to a statement.“It’s early days,” said Richard Mack, chief marketing officer for Cerence Inc., which makes voice software for cars and joined the coalition. So far, the group is more of a call to action than a standards-setting body of the sort that spawn working groups and conferences to guide the development of new technologies, he said.“I don’t know exactly who’s been invited to the party,” he said of Google and Apple’s absence. “But they haven’t signed on yet. I think it’s a good representation of large and small and innovative across all of these different industries.”\--With assistance from Gerrit De Vynck and Mark Gurman.To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Day in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Robin Ajello, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.