On Friday of this week. I sent three emails to SAP. The first note went to Leo Apotheker. I thanked Leo for allowing me to contribute to SAP’s success and his guidance and told him I’d miss my times “sweating [while presenting] to him and the rest of the FLT [Field Leadership Team].” I received a great note back from Leo. Marty Homlish received the second email in which I also thanked him not only for the opportunity to contribute to Marketing's success at SAP but for his mentorship and the many personal learnings I experienced while working for him. The final note went to my fellow colleagues:
Colleagues… Seven years is a long time. I remember my first day at SAP though like it was yesterday -- I actually wore a tie on that first day, and looked so eager and ready to begin… And of course, I had much more hair. Each year has been completely different -- with new challenges and amazing opportunities. I've had my share of failures as well as some spectacular successes….Executive Offline Demos, Rapid Prototyping Tool, The CMI MegaModel and Custom Research Agendas, Risk Management, Competitive Monitoring programs, Services marketing, build out of the Apollo team and great successes with Safe Passage programs, driving design thinking into our experience design methodologies and helping to get SAP on the road with Web 2.0.
But the greatest success and thing that has given me the most pleasure has been the opportunity to work with such a talented and driven group of people. I want to thank you all for allowing me to be part of your professional and in some cases personal lives. Its been fun and its been an honor.
I wish I had some great pearl of wisdom that will leave you saying "wow" but nothing particularly insightful or groundbreaking comes to mind, so I'll just say, stay the course, get outside the box as often as possible, and if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.
So what am I going to be doing? Well, the road has a number of very interesting paths in front of me right now… I am weighing some fascinating opportunities. Each of them exciting for different reasons. I'm not sure which path I'll be taking but I'm sure our paths will cross again. As a matter of fact, you won't be getting rid of me that quickly. For the next few months, I will be working with Marketing and other organizations within SAP to move the ball on some of the Social Media efforts that we've already kicked off.
Oh, and I'm sure I've neglected to send this to folks. If you wouldn't mind passing along to your teams, I'd really appreciate that.
email@example.com for the next two months plus:
+1 917-573-2692 (cell)
+1 646-441-0309 (cell)
Follow Me On Twitter:
Best of luck and Great Success!!
The outpouring from my colleagues has been overwhelming. I’ve received hundred of emails… here’s a taste:
I am just in complete shock. You are one of the most valuable people I met at SAP, taking us into the 21st century.
I have learned SO MUCH from you. SO MUCH.
Well, let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future. Would love to work together again some time.
Gosh, this is a shock! I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving SAP. We’ve been doing some great work together and you’ve been THE leading voice in the marketing team for all things social media.
Stunned. Only word I can think of.
WHAAAAAAT? Wow Steve, I'm gobsmacked. What just happened? :-)
So sorry to see you go, but also excited about what the future may hold for you. I'll look forward to working with you over the next two months, and who knows, maybe we'll have the chance to keep up the communication after that.
I don't know what to say. Or there are so many things I want to say. We've done so much together that I am finding this really hard to comprehend.
Can we please go out, so we can get a chance to really discuss? Drinks, lunch, breakfast -- you choose. But let's just get it on the calendar soon.
Let me know when.
See you next week?
I think my favorite term was "gobsmacked." You get the idea. I have hundreds of these. So thank you SAP. I have to say, I’m on the giddy side this weekend. For a number of reasons. First I’m glad to be parting ways with SAP. I like the company and I have great respect for its employees and leadership but there is so much more that I want to do, that I can’t do at SAP. Secondly, we’re parting on very good terms – terms that reflect the benefits and contributions I’ve made to the company over the last seven years. Finally, SAP is retaining my services to continue to help them formulate, articulate and execute on their Web 2.0 strategy, which I am happy to do.
So. One door is closing and there are some new ones opening up directly in front of me. I’m looking forward to having some news for you in the near future… stay tuned.