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Ex-Microsoft Australia CEO To Take Xero Founder’s Place

Rod Drury, founder and CEO of New Zealand small and medium-sized business (SMB) accounting company Xero, is stepping down from the position, according to Sunday (Mar. 4) ZDNet reports.

Microsoft Australia CEO Steve Vamos will take Drury’s place next month. Drury founded Xero 11 years ago, and Vamos has been preparing to take on the role for the last 18 months. Vamos served as CEO of Microsoft Australia from 2003 to 2006, then as non-executive director of Telstra since 2009.

“It’s been a huge 11-plus years building Xero,” Drury said in a statement. “It’s amazing to consider we started with just four people in a small Willington apartment and now we have over 2,000 people across 17 offices in eight countries, and over 1.2 million subscribers. I’m so proud of the Xero team, the community that’s formed around us, the positive impact we’ve had on our customers, and the shareholder value we’ve created.”

Drury won’t be leaving the company entirely, however, and will continue to serve as non-executive chair and support Xero’s focus on innovation and strategy.

“It’s now the right time for me to pass the baton to Steve, who has the experience to significantly expand Xero internationally,” Drury said.

Xero announced earlier this year that it would delist from the New Zealand Stock Exchange and consolidate trading on the Australia Stock Exchange. At the time, the company also divulged a $14.67 million loss for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2018, a 50 percent improvement compared to the same period a year prior. Revenue increased 37 percent during the half, though Xero has not yet turned a profit.

More recently, Xero revealed a partnership with payment processor Stripe to enable businesses using Xero to accept ACH bank transfers.

“Our ultimate goal at Xero is to make sure small businesses are getting paid as quickly as possible while making the experience from set-up to reconciliation seamless,” said Craig Walker, chief technology officer at Xero. “Building on our partnership with Stripe, this new feature gives our customers even more ways to get paid efficiently while keeping sensitive information safe.”

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