SAP chief executive loses eye in accident

Bill McDermott plans to be back at work next month

SAP chief executive Bill McDermott lost an eye after an accident in the US in July, though he is recovering and plans to be back in Germany next month, according to the company.

Mr McDermott, 54, fell down stairs in the night while carrying a water glass during a visit to relatives and nearly bled to death from his injuries, a SAP representative said. It became clear last week he would lose his left eye.

News of the injuries was reported by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Mr McDermott, SAP’s sole chief executive since last year, said in a separate interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he feels strong.

“I’m still alive, and that’s not a given after such a bad accident,” he said. “This can happen to anyone. It’s important to stand up after you’ve fallen down.”

SAP’s supervisory board has a succession plan, chairman Hasso Plattner told WirtschaftsWoche. The company declined to discuss details of that plan.

SAP said Mr McDermott will be able to fly again next month and plans to be back at company headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, in early October.

The US native joined SAP in 2002 and became co-chief executive with Jim Hagemann Snabe, who still sits on the supervisory board, in 2010.

Bloomberg