Better Late: SAP Co-CEO Apologizes for Oracle IP Theft

Published on November 15, 2010
by John Paczkowski

What an uncomfortable moment this must have been for SAP co-Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott. Under cross-examination by Oracle attorney David Boies in the trial to determine damages for the theft of Oracle IP by SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow, McDermott rolled over and offered up something that we’d not yet seen since this case began: An apology.

“Has SAP ever apologized?” Boies asked. “Would you like to do so now?”

McDermott’s reply, “I am sorry to Oracle.”

As I said, an uncomfortable moment–and evidently one of many. Boies subsequently asked McDermott if SAP had ever disciplined anyone at TomorrowNow for its misdeeds. McDermott said it hadn’t. “We were focused on a resolution with Oracle,” he said. “It’s a matter of priorities.” To which Boies replied, “I don’t mean any disrespect, but what is taking so long?”

To be fair, McDermott did offer some testimony supportive of SAP, noting that TomorrowNow didn’t generate a lot of software sales. “Not only was it not a big driver of software sales, it wasn’t a very successful [concept],” he said.

Maybe that’s why it took so many years for SAP to apologize.


[Image credit: Someecards]

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