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The next chapter for Xero

Posted 4 months ago in Xero news by Rod Drury
Posted by Rod Drury

Some big news today that I’m excited to share. This morning we’ve announced to the market (via this release) that after 11+ massive years of being CEO I’m passing the baton to Steve Vamos who has been appointed by the Board as CEO of Xero from 1 April.

As we enter the next chapter of growth all over the world and drive towards $1B of revenue, the Board and I realized Xero needs world class multinational tech company skills and execution experience to help us meet those targets.

Over the last 18 months we’ve worked with Steve on strategic projects and it became clear he has the people leadership, coaching and global tech experience to lead our amazing leadership team. I’m super excited to work closely with Steve and the team and focus on innovation and strategy as a Non Executive Director on the Board, which is the area I’m most passionate about.

Looking back I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved since we started the business with a handful of people in a small apartment. Just in the last year we’ve passed the 1 million subscriber milestone, hit EBITDA positive, and consolidated our listing on the ASX. We’ve established ourselves as the leading small business platform and community. For our next chapter the key skills required by the leadership team are scaling a global technology business. Steve is an expert at this and has the people leadership and operational discipline we need for this next phase.

I’ve known Steve personally for over 10 years and of him for over 20 years when I first met him in Wellington. Steve understands our business and has helped build our global leadership team he has strong relationships with each of them.

With over 30+ years leading large scale tech companies including Apple Computer Asia Pacific, ninemsn and Microsoft Australia, Steve understands the dynamics of how the biggest multinational technology companies operate. He’s also successfully worked in tech start-ups and smaller online businesses so understands what is important to focus on as businesses scale. An experienced leader, he knows how to build teams, create a business culture that supports growth and high performance, and deliver operational excellence globally.

I’m excited to continue to work on how Machine Learning will transform accounting and see the new initiatives we dreamed up – like the Xero Life Long Learning Platform – deliver their full potential. I’ve been super lucky to be able to focus on product for the last 11 years at Xero, while our leadership team has been operating the business.  We have a clear innovation roadmap and Steve is ready is execute on the vision we’ve spent the last 18 months building.

Xero is only just at the beginning with so much more to be achieved. We’ve done much of the hard work. We have a clear strategy, a strong leadership team and the business is performing strongly. So it’s the ideal time for me to hand things over.  

Please join me in welcoming Steve officially to the team.



Timothy Munro
March 5, 2018 at 12.01 pm

Congratulations Rod on an amazing 11 years – and a big welcome to Steve! And let the Xero party continue!!!

Debbie Severiny
March 5, 2018 at 12.24 pm

hmmm, I will approve this only on the proviso that we see your smiley face Mr Drury at the Southern Hemisphere Xerocon! Otherwise I will have to fly over to the land of the great white cloud and have a chat, and that could get a bit awkward!!!

In all seriousness you have certainly left a legacy that has changed our worlds forever – thank you, its bean momentous. It has given me growth not just in my business but in my personal life also. You know I will go so far as to say your vision has helped many a female solepreneur to gain a good income and gain some real self worth, from my perspective anyway.

And welcome Steve Vamos, just finished listening to your TED talk. Very much looking forward to your perspective and how and where it will drive my besty; Xero. Look after her, she means a lot to many.

Lyn Ireland
March 5, 2018 at 1.20 pm

Another chapter begins…. Well done Rod & welcome Steve. I’m looking forward to where Xero goes in the next 11 years.

Charles Klvana
March 5, 2018 at 2.29 pm

Well done Rod. Your innovative ideas have truly improved the SME business landscape, and improved the lifestyles of business owners worldwide. I for one know my business wouldn’t be where it is today without your ideas, leadership and implementation.
By the reading of this, sounds like you’re being freed up to focus on what you enjoy the best, leading to a better fulfilling lifestyle.
Good luck to all, and looking forward to the next 10 years of Xero!

March 5, 2018 at 6.08 pm

Hard to imagine Rod is no longer at the helm from Fools Day but like all other outcome before, this is going to be good for the company. Thanks Rod.

Manoj Ranaweera
March 5, 2018 at 8.13 pm

What a ride Xero had since the early days! Sad to see Rod stepping down to NED instead of Chairman role. But congratulations Steve. Looking forward to hear the changes you would bring and learning about the strategy for headline growth, as you expand the product offering.

Best wishes

Manoj Ranaweera

Jeanette Korporaal
March 5, 2018 at 8.20 pm

Sorry to see you go Rod. Love your vision and passion for business and the future and love that you strive to keep the database pure & relational. Welcome Steve. We look forward to XERO under your leadership!

Peter Banks
March 6, 2018 at 12.17 pm

Great news but I Hope they don’t shift Head Office away from Wellington.

Patrick Holmberg
March 14, 2018 at 2.47 am

Welcome! Can you sort out the serious and very basic performance and customer care issues that blight Xero, rendering it almost completely useless at times?! Good luck. you’ve got a lot to do.

April 8, 2018 at 5.06 pm

Thanks Rod for all your hardwork and passion to Xero. I know you are still with Xero as non-executive director.

Steve, congrats to your new role as CEO of Xero. May you be successful to drive Xero to the next growth phase.

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