Julie Roehm Resurfaces in Senior Marketing Post at SAP

Role Entrenches Exec in Business-to-Business at Software Giant

By Published on .

It's been five years since Julie Roehm has had a full-time marketing gig, but as of this month, she's returned as the new senior VP-marketing at business-software company SAP.

She will report to Jonathan Becher, who joined SAP a few years ago and last summer was promoted to chief marketing officer. His promotion followed the departure of Marty Homlish, who went to Hewlett-Packard. Mr. Homlish had spent more than a decade at SAP and was the global chief marketing officer and corporate officer, as well as president-CEO of SAP Global Marketing.

A spokeswoman at SAP told Ad Age that Ms. Roehm will be based in New York. Ms. Roehm updated her Facebook profile and LinkedIn pages to reflect her new post at SAP, but when reached, she declined to comment, citing being in the "midst of several changes."

Julie Roehm
Julie Roehm Credit: Scott Breithaupt

Ms. Roehm's marketing resume is well-documented. She spent time at Ford in the '90 and was hired by Chrysler as a director-marketing communications in 2001. Her last full-time marketing position was senior VP-communications at Walmart Stores (and we all know how that went).

In the interim she's been consulting with a variety of companies, including Credit Suisse, Time Inc., Whirlpool, Coda Automotive and more recently, SAP, which likely led to her new role. She also kept up a profile in the ad business by speaking on Fox Business News and hostessing book parties, and had even signed on to appear on a CBS reality show called "Jingles" that never made it on air.

One thing that will be different for Ms. Roehm will be adjusting to life at a marketer that is more business-to-business oriented than consumer-focused. One similarity she has to her new fellow senior marketing leaders at SAP, however, is her level of social-media activity. She tweets and maintains her own blog, as does Michael Brenner, the senior director-global integrated marketing class, and the CMO, Mr. Becher. The latter has written publicly about his management style, which might provide some hints of what's in store for Ms. Roehm.

Mr. Becher has said his style is to manage more by influence (suggesting direction) than by control (enforcing rules). He also said on his blog: "I don't like to reward people for trying hard if they were working on the wrong things. While congratulatory emails have their place, I prefer to catch people doing the right things and provide them with instantaneous feedback. At my last job, I handed out 'Becher bucks' to reinforce behavior, but there are many ways to reward employees that aren't financial."

The German company employs nearly 50,000 people in more than 50 countries; more than 1,000 staffers are focused on marketing. Its agencies include independent Edelman and WPP's Ogilvy.

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