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Xero founder Rod Drury steps down from CEO role

05 Mar 2018

The Board of Xero has announced it has appointed Steve Vamos as CEO to succeed founder Rod Drury, effective 1 April 2018.

Drury will continue to focus on innovation and strategy as a non-executive director of Xero. Over the past 18 months, Vamos has worked closely with Xero’s executive team developing its management capability and operating model.

Vamos has more than 30 years’ experience in technology and digital media including roles at three iconic companies: IBM, Apple and Microsoft.

He has lived and worked in Australia, the USA and Asia, and is a proven leader with the skills and discipline to drive Xero in its next phase of global growth.

Xero chair Graham Smith says, “Succession planning has been high on the Board’s agenda and with the business performing strongly, we believe the time is right to make the transition at CEO level. We believe Steve Vamos brings an invaluable skill set to lead Xero.

“He has worked in some of the world’s largest tech companies and is a recognised, purpose-driven people leader, with a focus on growth and operational excellence.”

“Rod’s achievement of building a global company and community from New Zealand is unmatched and on behalf of the Board I’d like to thank him for his tremendous leadership since founding the company,” Smith says.

“With a strong leadership team in place, Steve’s appointment underpins the important evolution from a founder-led company to a business with worldwide scale.

“At the same time, Xero will continue to benefit from Rod's product vision as a non-executive director.”

Rod Drury says, “It’s been a huge 11 plus years building Xero. It’s amazing to consider we started with just four people in a small Wellington apartment and we now 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.”

“Xero has recently achieved a number of key milestones: we’ve achieved positive EBITDA and operating cash flows, consolidated our listing on the ASX and built an exceptional leadership team.

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

“Steve has demonstrated to the Board and me that he has the skills and experience we need to execute Xero’s next phase of growth, while I contribute to strategy as a non-executive director with my passion for product innovation.”

Vamos says, “What Rod and Xero have accomplished is rare and remarkable. I’m excited to have this opportunity to lead Xero’s growth and development going forward.

"I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Xero leadership team and we have a clearly communicated strategy, which we are committed to executing.”

“Xero is a special company with an extremely important purpose and significant opportunities. I look forward to continuing to work with Rod, the Board, the entire Xero team, and our partners and customers, to deliver on the potential of Xero’s global platform.” 

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