Supervisory Board of the Week: Rouven Westphal (SAP)


At the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May 12, SAP shareholders are to elect a confidant of their Supervisory Board chairman Hasso Plattner to the supervisory body: As the agenda shows, Rouven Westphal will face the shareholders’ vote. The 48-year-old is a full-time board member of the Hasso Plattner Foundation and managing director of HPC Germany in Potsdam (a kind of family office). Westphal is to replace former Nokia manager Pekka Ala-Pietilä, who is stepping down after 19 years. Since the Finn was still appointed until 2022, his successor is initially scheduled to serve a one-year term.

Advisory board with the San José Sharks

Westphal, who holds a doctorate in business administration, began his career as a management consultant at Accenture. Afterwards he gained experience as a founder and found his way into the Plattner empire in 2006. He already has experience as a controller: According to SAP, the designated new hire sits on the advisory board of the Sharks Sports & Entertainment LLC in San José, California. The company owns the NHL club San José Sharks, which plays home games at the SAP Center there. The Handelsblatt quotes corporate governance expert Christian Strenger as saying that Rouven Westphal’s close ties to Plattner mean that he is not considered an independent member of the supervisory board. But that does not automatically speak against him.