What do you do if you decide not to pursue a clear opportunity to become CEO of one of the world's largest software companies?
For Shai Agassi, long regarded as a shoo-in for the top job at enterprise applications giant SAP, the answer, or at least one answer, is to move into alternative energy.
Announced last week, Agassi's departure is not good news for SAP. The German firm is already faced with rapid change in the back-office business software field it has led for many years and also has to contend with the recent addition of espionage allegations by old foe Oracle.
However, for Agassi, leaving SAP represents a chance to pursue a few modest interests, namely "alternative energy and environmental-policy issues, as well as the future of Israel".
The pursuit of alternative energy sources is becoming to this decade what the internet and biotechnology represented in the 1990s. It is the double-whammy prospect of generating vast wealth and changing the world at the same time. Don't be surprised when more IT executives see fresh fields in energy and decide that the grass has never been greener on the other side.
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