30 Best Leaders to Watch 2021

In Conversation with Marc Havercroft, SAP SuccessFactors Global Chief Customer Officer: ‘We’re Going to Change the Lives of People to Thrive in the New Digital World of Work’


“We all thrive in a world that will be driven in the digital world but still uniquely human for every person irrespective of background.”

SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite includes a comprehensive set of Human Resources (HR) solutions with unmatched scalability and localization. It integrates onboarding, social business and collaboration tools, learning, talent and performance management, recruiting and applicant tracking software, succession planning, HR analytics and employee experience management solutions to deliver business strategy alignment, team execution, and maximum people performance. More than 8,000 organizations in over 200 countries and territories leverage SAP SuccessFactors HXM solutions, spanning more than 60 industries.

Marc Havercroft, SAP SuccessFactors Global Chief Customer Officer, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. What motivated you to reinvent and transform the traditional administrative functions of human resources departments?

My view of the untapped power of the combination of technology and unique human traits has not even been close to tapped. To put it simply, people are business, not a necessary cost and risk as is the current status quo. People determine whether a business succeeds or fails, so we must consider every experience in their life – both in their personal and professional life – and make sure we are supporting them to do and be their best. As we have seen in the last year, the ability to support employees in the most arduous moments determine how quickly businesses can adapt to change.

Q. How do you deal with the ever-changing labor laws and workforce paradigms?

I have a clear view; they don’t move quick enough! The world of work changes rapidly in line with technology and society. And it only seems to be accelerating! Our mission at SAP is to make technology work better for people. Not the other way around. Employees expect consumer-grade experience when using technology at work. This requires us to create new ways to streamline the flow of work, automate tasks where possible, and enable people to pursue lifelong learning. By prioritizing human experiences and removing distracting and manual tasks, people can focus more on strategic initiatives and be more agile to changing workforce paradigms.

Q. How do you manage to adapt to the ever-fluctuating talent needs?

A true area of my expertise. Firstly, talent is always on. Like a coach in sports you must develop and nurture talent in every action and thought as a leader. This is not an HR responsibility, it’s a leader’s core responsibility as if you have the best players in their position and have them playing as one, you win.

Q. What would you say are the top three skills to be a successful business leader?

Communication, empathy, and positive vision are the top three skills to be a successful business leader.

Q. What would you say is the single most influential factor of your business’ success?

Being open to all views and ideas and taking time to listen and learn from a wide range of sources.

Q. What other leaders do you look up to, and why?

Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and the great Steve Jobs! They deliver what others say can’t be done. Remember I am a rule breaker.

Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting as an entrepreneur, what would it be?

Believe and stay the course, and stay positive.

Q. If not a business leader, what else you wish to be?

I would dream of a sports career or working to save the animals and planet.

Q. What does the future hold for SAP SuccessFactors and its employees? Are exciting things on the way?

SAP is a proven innovator and established industry leader in every region across the globe. We are making the market of human experience management – or HXM. HXM is the next evolution of strategic HR. It puts people at the centre of business by delivering relevant, individualized and dynamic employee experiences. With HXM, HR is more strategic, people are more engaged, and businesses are more resilient. We are going to change the lives of people to thrive in the new digital world of work.

Leading with the HUMAN Experience at SAP SuccessFactors

Marc Havercroft is the new breed of leadership spoken about by many of the top management guru’s. A leader of leaders, he is a digital native at the forefront of how man and machine can thrive. Although humble, his list of achievements and awards show the substance of real execution of innovation in the world of human and technology. This combined with his natural communication skills at all levels create the environment that many seek to achieve to deliver stakeholder value in all its forms. A rule breaker at heart, he challenges and delivers innovation to businesses naturally.

Currently the Global Chief Customer Officer for SAP SuccessFactors, and has held the role of Chief Operating Officer, and Head of Strategy working across Asia, Europe, and the Americas within SAPs cloud businesses. He is part of the SAP catalyst program, a top talent program for the top five percent of future leaders. He has also worked at IBM & Mercer.

“Our Human Experience Management Suite builds on our market-leading cloud HCM software and elevates people experiences to a top-level priority.”