Taking the Reins: SAP's John Carson

Taking the Reins: SAP's John Carson

John Carson

POSITION: Vice president of federal business development, SAP Public Sector and Education, Washington.

FIRST DAY ON THE JOB: June 19

HOMETOWN: Havertown, Pa.

HOME NOW: Olney, Md.

FAMILY: Wife, Chris; eight children and 13 grandchildren

MOST RECENTLY READ BOOK: Truman by David McCullough

FAVORITES:
Hobby - Basketball

Music artist - Nat King Cole

Restaurant/Food - Old Ebbitt Grill/Oysters

TV Show - History Channel

Vacation Spot - Maryland's Eastern Shore

EDUCATION:

Bachelor of arts, Stetson University, Deland, Fla. Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society

Masters of business administration, international business, Tulane University, New Orleans

CAREER BACKGROUND:

Agriculture Department, chief financial officer and chief management improvement officer. Recipient of Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, the nation's highest civil service award. Joint Financial Management Improvement Program, steering committee member.

Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche), national director, federal financial services

Ogden Government Services, Systems Group (now Anteon Corp.), director of financial programs

From your career with the federal government, what do you bring to SAP?

"An understanding of how the federal government works. I've worked for several other companies, and at all of them there is a difficulty in understanding that the government is different. Everyone said they understood the federal government, but they don't. After 25 years with the Agriculture Department, you understand the workings, you understand the reasoning. It's helpful when dealing with them."

What is your main goal at SAP?

"To make SAP a name that every federal employee who's involved in systems would know automatically. They would want to know the product because it's what is out there in the commercial world, and worldwide, and is something the federal government needs."

What is the biggest challenge of going from the public to the private sector?

"[There are] so many people that are watching you. You don't have just the stockholders or consumer ... you have a plethora of different interest groups and stakeholders. You can never please them all; you have to know that. You might be pleasing Congress but not the executive, or pleasing the executive and not Congress."

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