Search past winners/finalists

SAP North America - Executive of the Year - Computer Software

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: SAP North America, Newtown Square, PA
Entry Submitted By: FleishmanHillard
Company Description: As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP is at the center of today’s business and technology revolution. SAP North America oversees the company’s business operations in the U.S. and Canada. Globally, SAP innovations help 388,000 customers worldwide work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Executive of the Year - Computer Software

Nomination Title: DJ Paoni Champions Innovation, Culture and Community as New President of SAP North America

Tell the story about what this nominated executive has achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact he or she has had on your organization. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

DJ Paoni’s direct impact on SAP, the world’s leading enterprise software company – is clearly reflected by his long-standing success and various roles leading its North American headquarters since he joined the company in 1996. His rapid rise during his time at SAP is a testament to his achievements as both an industry leader in computer software and as a trusted executive within his organization. In July 2017, DJ ascended from his previous leadership role as SAP’s Managing Director of the Midwest Region to SAP North America’s President of Sales.

In less than a year, he was quickly promoted to SAP’s President of North America, announced February 2018. This rapid pace of appointments stems from his reputation as a trusted advisor for customers, a respected mentor for colleagues and a responsible steward for the next-generation employees at SAP. His impact on the organization transcends day-to-day responsibilities and sets him apart as a results-driven technology innovator and strategic executive leader throughout the enterprise software sector.

SAP is and always has been a customer first organization, with North America remaining one of SAP’s largest and fastest growing regions. This continuous growth in revenue and market share is in part thanks to DJ’s commitment and investment in social good, STEM education, and providing emerging talent the skills and tools for success.

Within the workplace, DJ fosters a positive culture that’s making a difference for employees – and for SAP’s business. SAP employs more than 22,000 workers in North America. Under DJ’s leadership, SAP jumped 31 spots from 2017 to rank #28 on FORTUNE’s 2018 “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The company was also recognized as an employer of choice in regional locations across DJ’s remit, including Canada, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.

DJ ensures SAP North America is an employer that champions diversity and inclusion (for example, corporate-wide gender parity and pay initiatives, program offerings at SAP for women, minorities, LGBTQ, disabled, neuro-diverse and veteran employees). During DJ’s career at SAP North America, the region has already surpassed the company’s global commitment to raise the total percentage of female leaders to 25 percent in less than six years – currently standing at more than 30 percent in North America.

DJ also emphasizes the importance of training and development to stimulate long and rewarding careers. DJ has championed the SAP Academy, a three-year immersive experience that brings together 250 high potential early talent. The program has helped up the company’s representation of young sales talent from 2 percent to 12 percent in just three years, and that number continues to grow.

Outside of SAP, DJ invests time in the community and encourages others to do the same. He serves on the board of two education-focused non-profits: The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which provides entrepreneur training and education to young people from low-income urban communities, and GENYOUth, which collaborates with schools, communities, and business partners to improve nutrition and physical activity in children’s lives.

The strong culture DJ champions internally and externally ultimately empowers the development of emerging products and services that are not only innovative, but reflective and inclusive of today’s diverse society. For example, SAP’s R&D investments in cloud have expanded the firm’s offerings as a full-service business solution partner and expand on its SAP HANA in-memory data platform. The strategy is paying off, as currently, 98 percent of the world’s 100 most valuable brands are SAP customers.

Finally, DJ empowers his teams to build stronger, more strategic industry partnerships with other leading technology companies – and views technology leaders and companies as collaborators and co-innovation partners, as opposed to SAP’s market competition. Leading tech firms like Google and Apple pair SAP’s enterprise expertise with their own solutions, unlocking new ways for consumers to interact with data and technology.He champions pioneering new cloud-enabled innovations such as AI, machine learning, IoT/Big Data, predictive analytics and blockchain with SAP Leonardo.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated executive since the beginning of 2017.

-Ascended from SAP’s Midwest managing director to president of sales – and the following February 2018 appointed president of SAP North America, signaling his leadership impact for the organization.
-Grew portfolio of solutions across 25 different industries.
-Managed North America sales teams, solidifying SAP S/4HANA as the fastest-growing product in SAP history, with more than 8,300 customers in just three years.
-Championed regional growth around SAP’s newly launched technology solutions, e.g. SAP Leonardo.
-Championed immersive SAP Academy program for high-performing sales executives – increasing company’s young sales talent representation from 2 percent to 12 percent in three years.
-Joined board of NFTE and GENYOUth. Facilitated SAP’s partnership with GENYOUth to launch the SAP Teen Innovators program, selecting five students to receive $10,000 in grants to bring their Health & Wellness projects to life.
-Supported introduction of new and evolved partnership with Apple, Microsoft and Google in 2017