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From Intuit to Xero

Today I join the Xero US team as the Vice President of Marketing.  Not since taking my first job in technology (optimizing production lines in semiconductor factories), have I been this excited about starting a new role. There are only a few times when you get the opportunity to make a significant impact (in a positive way) on small businesses and their advisors.  Xero is leading that change and I wanted to be a part of that.

About me

My career spans 15+ years creating, marketing and supporting software solutions working as an engineer, architect, product manager, designer, and marketer. Close to nine of those years were spent at Intuit where I honed my marketing skills (marketing everything from QuickBooks Enterprise to Simple Start to Customer Manager to Mac) and developed deep domain expertise in small business financial management (QuickBooks). Most recently, I led the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, which taught me how important accounting professionals are in the success of a small business. I’ve also become passionate about design and user experience, believing from the moment you consider a product it must be drop-dead simple to understand and use.  That brings me Xero.

Due diligence

About a year ago, I took Xero for a test drive to understand what everyone was talking about.  From the moment that I saw my Xero Dashboard, I was impressed.  It was like a Mac – a balance between simplicity and elegance.  Everything I wanted to see, and only what I wanted to see, was in one place.  It wasn’t cluttered, bloated, or confusing.  As I dove in further, it got even better. Reports, tools for accounting professionals, anytime and anywhere access, an open API and award winning add-ons, multi-currency, and more recently, a better mobile experience with Xero Touch. The list goes on. Instantly I wondered how did they do this?

I’m sold

It was only a few weeks ago that I decided to leave Intuit for Xero. I’ve made the change not only because I believe in the product but the team, the company and the vision.  During the process I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Rod, Jamie and others leading Xero.  They’re smart, resourceful, dedicated and inspiring – the type of people that you want to be associated with.  And as I dug in and evaluated Xero further, I realized they’d created an amazing company.  Wherever I looked, they had the answer – product, design, people, strategy, financial backing, partners, platform, and, most importantly, growth.  Wow.  I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to join something that will change the industry that I’ve spent a decade working in.  As they say, the rest is history.

 

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6 comments

Robbie Dellow
24 April 2012 #

I see this as a very positive sign for Xero’s USA market penetration if it can encourage key Intuit personnel over.

[...] but also that within the US marketplace Xero is more and more seen as the promising vendor. In a post announcing his appointment, Vacin speaks to this very points, describing the due diligence process [...]

Ben Kepes
24 April 2012 #

Congrats Ian – and welcome to Xero. This is an important milestone for the company and signifies something big… More here – http://www.diversity.net.nz/xero-nabs-intuit-exec/2012/04/23/

Xero Nabs Intuit Exec
25 April 2012 #

[...] but also that within the US marketplace Xero is more and more seen as the promising vendor. In a post announcing his appointment, Vacin speaks to this very points, describing the due diligence process [...]

Michael
26 April 2012 #

My first reaction to Xero hiring from Intuit would be a very big negative. Intuit is about the most lame software company in existence. I wish you and Xero the best of luck and sincerely hope that the Intuit experience will not carry over to Xero which I was just about to buy into. I’ll wait a while to see what develops.

Seymour Bond
11 May 2012 #

I couldn’t disagree with Michael’s statements more about it being a big negative for Intuit. I think Ian is moving from a large, mature company, where the financial management solutions are a distant second place division to individual tax, to a small, late-phase startup who is focused on changing the accounting space. That culture shift is going to let him and the management team be more innovative than they would be able to be at an established market leader like Intuit. I expect great things from the crew in the city by the Bay.

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