John Schwarz


  • Honorary Doctorate of Law, Dalhousie University, 2004
  • MBA, University of Toronto, 1979
  • B.Sc. in Computer Science, University of Manitoba, 1972


Sailing, environment, evolution of social systems


In 1968, John fled Czechoslovakia to Germany as a result of the Soviet invasion. Within weeks, he and his family met up in England and together relocated to Winnipeg, Canada. John graduated from the University of Manitoba’s computer science program in 1972 and moved to Toronto. Two years later, in 1974, he was hired by IBM. In 1991, he became the Director of IBM’s Toronto software lab, one of IBM’s premier software laboratories, with 1,500 employees. This was just one of several executive roles John held with IBM before his departure in 1999. In 2001, he became the President and Chief Operating Officer of IT security leader Symantec Corp., and in 2005, he became the CEO for Business Objects. John led Business Objects through major revenue growth and several key acquisitions before SAP bought the company in 2008.

John is a member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, reporting to Leo Apotheker and Henning Kagermann, co-CEOs of SAP AG. John is also the CEO of Business Objects SA. He is responsible for all aspects of the SAP Business Objects division, including product development, go-to-market activities, and customer service and support, as well as for all external SAP relationships leading the Global Ecosystem and Partner Group and the Corporate Development Group. John joined Business Objects in September 2005 as its CEO. During his tenure, he oversaw seven strategic acquisitions, including Cartesis and Firstlogic. He drove revenue growth to more than U.S. $1.5 billion. Before Business Objects, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Symantec Corporation. While at Symantec, he played a key role in tripling the business to more than U.S. $2.7 billion in revenue and was instrumental in the successful combination of Symantec and VERITAS. Before joining Symantec, John spent 25 years at IBM Corporation, working in various development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing roles. His last position was general manager of IBM’s Industry Solutions unit, a worldwide organization focused on building business applications and related services for IBM’s large industry customers.

John currently serves on the board of directors of Synopsys Corporation.