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Concur President Elana Donio at the 2015 GeekWire Summit.
Concur President Elena Donio at the 2015 GeekWire Summit.

Elena Donio, an 18-year veteran of Concur, and president of the company since December 2014, is leaving after accepting a senior executive position at another company, it was announced on Tuesday.

Concur, the Bellevue, Wash.-based provider of travel and expense management services, appointed Mike Eberhard as the new company president. A 13-year veteran of Concur, Eberhard was most recently president of global distribution.

Donio, who joined Concur five years after it was founded, is one of the most prominent female tech executives in the Seattle region, and her next move will be closely watched. She didn’t share just yet where she’s headed, but in an email to GeekWire, Donio said “Concur is in great hands” with Eberhard.

UPDATE 11/2: Former Concur president Elena Donio named CEO of legal services company Axiom

“He’s an amazing leader and a dear friend,” Donio said. “I’m so grateful for my time there; for Steve, the leadership teams within Concur and SAP, and the entire employee community. I can’t imagine a better place to have grown up personally and professionally and I’ll be watching as they continue to grow and thrive.”

Two years ago, SAP completed an $8.3 billion acquisition of Concur, which was founded in 1993. Co-founders Rajeev Singh and Mike Hilton left the company a year after the sale to take top jobs at the healthcare company Accolade.

“We are delighted to have Mike step into this role and it’s a natural progression of his career at Concur,” Steve Singh, CEO of Concur and a member of the executive board of SAP SE, said in a statement. “His passion for serving our customers, deep experience leading global innovation and expansion, and ability to foster a positive culture for his teams are hallmarks of his leadership.”

Mike Eberhard
Mike Eberhard. (Via Concur)

Eberhard joined Concur in 2003 and has held a series of executive roles. He will lead the company through its next chapter of growth and SAP integration. On Monday, he told GeekWire that the business is healthy and continues to grow rapidly in every region of the world.

“I think our vision continues to become a reality in creating a consumer-grade ease in a corporate tool,” Eberhard said. “That is paying off, and it’s an exciting time.”

Eberhard said Concur’s direction prior to the acquisition was to primarily grow on a global basis. That hasn’t changed under SAP, and Eberhard commends the parent company’s customer relationship, which he called second to none.

“We’ve been really happy with the blending and evolution from a culture standpoint, as well as the investments that they’ve made across Concur to continue to grow,” Eberhard said.

Eberhard also believes Concur is well positioned in the Seattle region’s competitive tech environment when it comes to attracting new talent.

“When you look at joining a company for the long term, you certainly want to join a global technology leader, which we are,” Eberhard said. “You want one that is in strong growth mode, which we are. You’re looking for really strong assets, which from our perspective is our customers, our culture, our team.”

Eberhard also said Concur is a financially healthy, viable company and is only strengthened by being part of SAP. Furthermore, he said Concur is an attractive option for job seekers because of its position in what he called an “incredibly dynamic industry.”

“It makes it fun,” Eberhard said. “Trying to keep up with the travel industry on a global scale is a lot of fun and helping customers save a significant amount of money is pretty rewarding. I think we’re in a very competitive position.”

With 35,000 customers and 44 million users, many of whom are interacting with Concur on mobile devices, Eberhard looks forward to the continuing challenge of dealing with the way consumerization is affecting the space

“The thing that I’m most excited about is trying to continue for our customers the ability to simplify what is really a complex world when it comes to managing this kind of spend,” Eberhard said. “What has typically been a fairly easy way to make decisions within corporate policy of spending the company’s money gets harder and harder every day as more and more channels open up for people to spend the company’s money outside of the company’s tools. It forces a company like Concur to innovate.

“It forces us to make sure that we’ve got a consumer-grade experience, that we’re providing a tool that goes where there employees go,” he continued. “So helping them through a complex ecosystem and doing it in a really simple way in a mobile device is a great challenge and that’s definitely one thing I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be excited for.”

Eberhard concluded by offering strong words of praise for Donio, as his departing predecessor.

“Elena has done an amazing job leading the business through what is typically challenging times for companies after an acquisition. We’ve had great stability, we’ve had mostly this year lower attrition levels than we’ve had in our history, from an employee standpoint,” Eberhard said. “And she helped chart our path on how we would grow in conjunction with SAP. I think everybody is excited for Elena to follow her dream and be a CEO, but I think also people are excited about the fact that we continue to demonstrate great bench strength inside of the business. We continue to have and hold onto what makes Concur great.”

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