Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, is Irish America’s 2017 Business 100 Awards Keynote Honoree

Bill McDermott is the first American CEO of software giant SAP. (Photo courtesy SAP)

By Irish America Staff
November 8, 2017

Irish America is pleased to announce Bill McDermott, chief executive officer of software giant SAP, as the keynote honoree at the 32nd Annual Irish America Business 100 Awards dinner on Wednesday, December 13 at the Metropolitan Club of New York in Manhattan.

For information on reserving seating at the awards dinner, table reservations, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Kate Overbeck at

As the head of the world’s top business software company since 2014, Bill leads more than 87,100 employees – up from 68,800 at the time of his appointment – in executing SAP’s vision to improve quality of life all over the world. He is the only American in history to act as CEO at SAP, a European company, and advises world leaders and policymakers on issues such as international trade policy, digital government, and unemployment among young people. As one of the most popular leaders in business, his employee approval rating on the website Glassdoor hovers consistently around 99 percent.

Raised in Amityville, Long Island, Bill is a third-generation Irish American with paternal roots in County Roscommon. His entrepreneurial abilities showed themselves early when, as a teenager, he purchased the local Country Deli for $7,000 in promissory notes. The deli funded his education at Dowling College, New York, where he studied business management. He earned his M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and later began his professional career at Xerox, where he spent 17 years and became the company’s youngest-ever division president. He was recruited by SAP in 2002 as CEO of SAP America, and in 2010 was appointed to the role of global co-CEO before assuming sole responsibility in 2014.

Bill is also an internationally best-selling author. His memoir, Winners Dream: From the Corner Store to the Corner Office, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2014, and won an Axiom Business Book Award. He and his wife, Julie, have two sons. He lives in the U.S. and Germany, but, he jokes, “most frequently, at 39,000 feet.”

Since 1985, the Irish America Business 100 recognizes the top business professionals from all industries for their extraordinary impact and innovative contributions to the corporate climate in the U.S. and abroad. Ranging from Irish-born entrepreneurs to fifth-generation Irish Americans, the honorees are united in their shared passion for their heritage and acknowledgement of the influence their Irish antecedents in their daily lives.

The complete 2017 Irish America Business 100 list will be published in the December 2017 / January 2018 edition of Irish America, which will also feature a cover interview with McDermott. The 2016 Business 100 list can be viewed online here.

Previous Irish America event keynote speakers include President Bill Clinton, Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Anne Sweeney, former Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group, The Walt Disney Company; Donald Keough, former Chairman of Allen and Company and former President of the Coca-Cola Company; Daniel O’Day, CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals; Tim Ryan, Senior Partner and U.S. chairman of PwC; and Vice President Joe Biden. ♦


For information on reserving seating at the awards dinner, table reservations, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Kate Overbeck at

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