SAP’s sacked CEO Leo Apotheker bowed out of the company after just nine months at the helm with a valedictory message to staff that declared he had no regrets for his actions in steering the company through the recession.

An internal memo obtained by CIO's sister organisation, IDG News Service, Apotheker stated:

"Confronted with the worst and most brutal economic crisis since the Great Depression, and faced with the consequences of decisions and actions made in the past, the Executive Board under my leadership had to take some very difficult decisions to steer SAP through the worst storm in its history,

“Yet we didn’t simply try to manoeuvre SAP thru(sic) the economic crisis. Indeed, we simultaneously started to build the foundation for a brighter future."

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Apotheker told staff, "the pace of change was rapid, probably too rapid for some."

He also admitted that his communications with employees were "not always optimal," and the negative results of an employee survey "did not completely come as a surprise to me given what happened during the time of the survey," he wrote.

According to the Financial Times, only half of SAP staff expressed confidence in the SAP board in the surveym which was conducted in September 2009.

"I regret that I wasn’t able to earn the support of each and every one of you, but I serenely stand before you today with the knowledge – and the clear conviction -- that what I did was for the best of the company and that your future is brighter because of the actions the Executive Board and I have taken," Apotheker added.