Forbes has featured him as the HR Punk who disrupts and innovates while challenging the status quo

Worldwebforum speaker Stefan Ries

Stefan Ries

CHRO and Member of the Executive Board, SAP SE, Walldorf, Germany

Worldwebforum SAP
Worldwebforum speaker Stefan Ries

Why you should listen

The old days of HR are over – it is no longer a back-office function. HR needs to innovate, to disrupt and to challenge the status quo. That is why Stefan and his team at SAP call themselves HR Punks.

Today, it’s all about delivering outstanding consumer experiences, or as SAP HR says: Moments that Matter. They have identified the moments that matter to their employees and are now working on improving them. By combining X (experience) and O (operational) data, SAP is able to get totally new insights.

While focusing on data driven decisions, Stefan strongly believes in in the importance of the human side of HR that’s focused on growing talent, leading people, and simplifying the organization.

As an HR executive who has worked in Microsoft, Compaq and Egon Zehnder International, he appreciates the differences among people and attributes their unique backgrounds and personalities as one of the key success factors of a company.

Hear Stefan speak at Worldwebforum 2020 about what he believes are the HR drivers of success for the future.

About SAP

At SAP, our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our promise is to innovate to help our customers run at their best. SAP is committed to helping every customer become a best-run business.

We engineer solutions to fuel innovation, foster equality, and spread opportunity across borders and cultures. Together, with our customers and partners, we can transform industries, grow economies, lift up societies, and sustain our environment. #TheBestRun


Stefan Ries, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Labor Relations Director, is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE with global responsibility for Human Resources. He was appointed to the Executive Board of SAP SE in April 2016.

Stefan was born in Bavaria and raised in Constance, Germany, where he spent most of his youth. After receiving his masters of business in economics from the University of Constance in 1991, he moved to Munich. He started his career as HR Manager at Microsoft, overseeing HR duties in Austria, Switzerland, and East European countries.

July 1994, he went on to lead the HR function for Compaq Computer in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and was based in Munich. Following the company’s acquisitions of Tandem Computers and Digital Equipment Corporation in 1999/2000, and the resulting integration efforts, Stefan led the entire HR organization for Compaq in Germany.

Stefan first joined SAP in 2002. By 2010, he was responsible for various HR functions, heading up the HR business partner organization and overseeing all HR functions on an operational level.

Between 2010 and 2014, he worked as a consultant with Egon Zehnder International and was a member of the global High Technologies/Information Technologies Practice Group, overseeing local and international projects to recruit, assess, and select top management talent.

In addition to his master’s degree in economics, he has attended senior management-education programs, including INSEAD and Harvard Business School.

To support innovation, Stefan attaches great importance to a diverse working culture. He is convinced that appreciating the differences among people, their unique backgrounds and personalities is a key success factor for SAP.

On a personal note, Stefan is passionate about rock and punk music. As a sports enthusiast, primarily soccer and handball, he is convinced that hard work, team effort and passion will ultimately lead to success.