Cathy Smith is the new MD of SAP Africa, effective today.
Smith, previously MD of Cisco southern Africa, becomes the first female leader of SAP Africa.

Steve Tzikakis, regional president for EMEA South at SAP, comments: “Africa is on the cusp of exponential growth and development enabled by digital technologies. As one of the foremost experts in driving digital transformation on the continent, Cathy is imminently suited to leading our Africa operations.

“We have great confidence in her ability to realise our innovation vision across our customer base.”

At Cisco, Smith led the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region.

Prior to that, she spent 23 years at IBM in a variety of leadership roles. She is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, committed to developing the next generation of value-based African leaders.

“Augmenting a culture of leadership, high performance and accountability, both internally and externally, is the core of Cathy’s mandate,” Tzikakis adds. “This appointment also reaffirms SAP’s commitment to empowering women in leadership and is in line with the company’s dedication to furthering South Africa’s employment equity and transformation agenda.”

Smith takes over from Claas Kuehnemann, who took on the role of acting-MD at SAP Africa over the past eight months and who now assumes a new leadership position with SAP in Switzerland.

Kuehnemann will continue to be a non-executive director on the SAP South Africa board.