Last week, while traveling,  I received word of the sudden passing of a former SAP colleague, Stefan Theis, who lost a brave fight with cancer at an all too early age. At the time of his passing, Stefan was the head of the line of business solutions team for SAP supply chain planning.

Stefan’s efforts were was very instrumental in charting the direction and support programs for SAP’s supply chain management applications. I had the honor to work with Stefan for over two years.

The following is a tribute which I have submitted for his family and SAP colleagues:

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the news regarding the passing of Stefan Theis. I came to know Stefan in 2002 when I arrived at SAP to lead Supply Chain Management product marketing. I have great respect for Stefan’s abilities in understanding the detailed functionalities of SAP supply chain applications, along with his abilities to meet with customers and help resolve their supply chain planning and collaboration process needs. Stefan was not shy in expressing his viewpoints, but was also very respectful of other viewpoints. He truly cared about customers and their needs, and passionately advocated for improved functionality.

More importantly, I valued my friendship with Stefan, including his unique style of humor and his passion for sports. We had many enjoyable coffee room conversations regarding automobile racing and soccer. I was impressed with his passion for biking to and from his office. During my trips to Walldorf, I would often make the time to visit Stefan to have conversations regarding organizational and technical developments at SAP, means to improve product marketing, as well as to have humorous conversation on organizational politics.

We have lost a contributor in the supply chain management community. I will miss Stefan.

I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and SAP colleagues.

Bob Ferrari