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SAP has once again gone back to talent brought in by former executive Shai Agassi to lead SAP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif.
SAP on Monday appointed Rami Branitzky as managing director of Labs North America, filling the job vacated by Aliza Peleg in June. In the new role, Branitzky will be expected to keep beating the drums for SAP's NetWeaver platform, considered Agassi's baby until he resigned from his job as SAP's president of products and technology in March.
Both Branitzky and Peleg had worked for Agassi before his company, TopTier Software, was acquired by SAP in 2001. Agassi, who left SAP to pursue other interests, was considered next in line for the CEO job at SAP. It was widely speculated, however, that Agassi didn't want to wait for his turn to come up. SAP has extended the contract of CEO Henning Kagermann, 60, until at least 2009.
Branitzky held field and product leadership positions at TopTier, a company Agassi founded in Israel and later moved to California. Since 2006, Branitzky has served as senior VP in charge of SAP global software and solution partnerships. He was instrumental in developing SAP's NetWeaver partner program, according to the company. He holds an MBA from New York University. He reports to SAP Labs North America president Doug Merritt.
Agassi, meanwhile, is trying to raise funds to start an electric car company and has raised $100 million from an Israeli holding company, according to an August report by Reuters.