Harald Stuckert passed away a couple of days ago. It was a shock to everyone who knew him, and especially so to me. I had just seen a Facebook entry with him commenting on The Masters. He loved golf. I had received an email from him on Friday as soon as he read my post on SAP R/3 and said “I must say you're right and you spoke out of my soul!”
I had met him over the years but more frequently in the last few years as he started spending time in Bradenton, just south of where I live. His first project in the US had been at my Price Waterhouse office in Tampa and he had grown fonder about our part of the world. We would meet for a meal every few months and I would bounce my book thoughts by him. His reactions always told me if I needed to change course. He was too modest – never allowed me to quote him directly, but he would point me to others who could validate what I was looking at.
In those conversations, I found he was one of the most connected people in enterprise software and in outsourcing. At SAP he was one of the senior statesmen which made it so impressive in the 1990s. He was one of the first professionals who learned how to use global delivery firms – many from India – effectively. Recently he had been advising Infosys on a variety of strategic areas.
But it was the non-business stuff which was more fun. He would talk about his beloved dogs, the way too much time he would spend on Emirates Airlines and how they spoiled him. I would always wonder which of his cars he would drive in. Once he came in his giant RV and when we finished he appeared stuck in a cramped parking lot. I told him I would drive him home, and he could retrieve it the next day when the lot was emptier. He made me stand in the back to guide him and I watched with mouth open how he managed to wriggle the monster out.
He was always smiling. In our industry that is such a rare trait.
Farewell, my friend. I was looking forward to many more conversations with you.