I’m up in San Francisco this week as our new North American CEO Peter Karpas joins the team.
There was video crew in the office so managed to get him on film …
When I first met Peter at PayPal a couple of years ago I thought he was one of the smartest people I’d met and we had a great session sparking off each other. It’s fantastic to have him on the team and leading our US efforts.
We’re thrilled to announce that we have reached 100,000 paying customers in Australia today. It’s been an amazing journey since I started at Xero three years ago, and it’s just getting better. To commemorate this milestone and thank our Customers, Partners and wider ecosystem, we made a video.
Check it out:
More than 900 accounting, bookkeeping and add-on partners flooded into the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland this morning for Xerocon New Zealand 2014. The line was long, but we got everyone inside eventually!
MC Petra Bagust kicked things off this morning. She was excited, talking about our values – love, beauty, transformation, fun. She described the atmosphere as majestic, magnificent, amazing and life-changing. “This is the kind of conference I want to be involved in!” she said. Same!
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It’s hard to believe, but this year’s Webstock was the best ever. And I’ve been to them all.
As always, there was a phenomenal mix of speakers: designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, thinkers, musicians and artists. Some are industry heavy weights, but many of the best are the most obscure. All of them rattled my brain, in both good and frightening ways.
The Xero team had the privilege of spending time with Aarron Walter (director of user experience at Mailchimp) and Jonathan Snook (product manager at Shopify) last week as part of Webstock, which I’ll also summarise in a separate post.
Today we’re releasing a few updates to Xero.
We’ve added Profiles. Profiles are completely optional but we think they are a great way to promote you and your business online and connect with your existing and new customers. You can share your specialities, write up a bio, provide contacts details, and links to your other online sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Linkedin pages. You choose what information you want to make public and what you want to keep private by going to your new Profile Settings screen in My Xero.
To start, profiles will be found in the Xero Community and online at everyone’s very own unique url on http://profiles.xero.com/people/youchoosethispart. Then over time you will see them show up in different places across Xero, such as Online Invoicing and Contacts.
If you have ever posted in the Xero Community those public details have automatically been moved across to your new Profile. At anytime you can go to your Profile Setting screen to update the details or turn it off if you no longer wish to have it active.
The ability to embed your Profile in another site as seen in the video is coming in a couple of weeks.
We’ve also updated the way you manage your Xero user account. Now you can manage your account settings, such as your password, on a new screen called Account Settings. You can find this page by clicking your name in the new Xero header and clicking on Account.
A few other things have made it in today’s release, including:
- Ability to remove access to reports for Standard users
- Some more Trial Balance exports for TaxACT, Keytime, Taxcalc and Forbes Accounts
- Smarter transaction splitting in bank reconciliation
For all the details, read our release notes.
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Xero is currently experiencing an issue with the Xero websites. The Operations and Infrastructure teams are investigating this as our highest priority to resolve the issue. We will continue to update this blog with more developments until performance is returned to normal. We’ll update as soon as we have any details.
We acknowledge the frustration this may be causing, and thank you for your support while we pull out all the stops to get this fixed.
UPDATE - RESOLVED 10:40PM GMT: We are back live. The Xero Operations team is currently investigating root causes, continuing to monitor the situation.
UPDATE: 12:04 AM GMT
On 15 February at 9:53 PM GMT we experienced a 40 minute outage to our services.
The root cause analysis has identified a bug in our management software that impacted a change to our infrastructure load balancers.
We were unable to back out the change as quickly as hoped and apologise to customers for the inconvenience and interruption to service.
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It’s here! The all-new version of Xero Touch for Android is available today for download from Google Play. We have completely rebuilt the application – it’s fast, slick, and awesome and we can’t wait for you to try it out.
A bit of news from us today.
Xero Limited (XRO) has bolstered its Board and US management team with the appointment of a new Board Chairman, adding a further US based Director, and establishing a new role of CEO, North America following its $US150 million capital raise in October 2013.
Chris Liddell takes on the role as Board Chairman, Bill Veghte has been appointed as a Director, and Peter Karpas will lead the US team as CEO, North America.
Xero CEO and Founder Rod Drury says, “As you would expect from a fast expanding software company, our strategy is to increase US representation on our Board. These three high calibre appointments are all significant additions to our American-based leadership team and position us strongly in the US and globally. Adding their combined experience and capabilities will help us become the global leader in small business financial software.”
Chris Liddell as Chairman of the Board of Xero Limited
New York based Chris Liddell has been appointed as independent Chairman of the Board of Xero Limited, replacing Sam Knowles who has resigned as Director and Chairman of Xero Limited effective today.
Liddell most recently worked with General Motors where he held the Vice Chairman and CFO roles since joining the organisation in January 2010. He led the company’s global finance operations and its US$23 billion IPO in November 2010.
Prior to General Motors, Liddell held the Senior Vice President and CFO roles at Microsoft between 2005 to 2009, served as CFO of International Paper from 2003 – 2005 and held the CFO role at Carter Holt Harvey from 1995 to 1998 before becoming CEO in 1999.
Departing Chairman of the board Sam Knowles sees Xero’s move to a US-based Chairman as the next logical move for Xero’s transition to a global business.
Xero CEO Rod Drury says, “Sam has helped guide us through a period of rapid global expansion to over 600 people operating across four countries. His experience ensured we put in place the right foundations, systems and processes that enabled us to scale, while retaining our nimbleness and culture. We thank him for his enormous contribution and leadership.”
Bill Veghte appointed Director, based in the US
Based in San Francisco, Bill Veghte has been appointed as an independent nonexecutive Director of Xero Limited. Bill runs HP’s Enterprise Group where he is Executive Vice President and General Manager. In his role, he is responsible for the development and delivery of IT infrastructure solutions and the direction, management, and delivery of HP’s cloud efforts.
HP’s Enterprise Group is a US$28 billion annual revenue business that includes server, storage, networking, technology services, and cloud solutions.
Prior to HP, Veghte spent nearly 20 years at Microsoft where he held roles such as Corporate Vice President for Windows Server, then Corporate Vice President, North America before acting in the role of Senior Vice President until May 2010.
Peter Karpas appointed to new role of CEO, North America
Peter Karpas will assume the new role of CEO, North America. Peter joins Xero from PayPal where he recently held the position of Vice President and General Manager, North America for Small & Medium Business. Karpas has also held a number of senior roles at Intuit, including Chief Marketing and Product Management Officer and Senior Vice President.
Xero CEO Rod Drury comments “We are thrilled to have Peter join our team and lead our US business. His proven leadership, comprehensive familiarity with the B2B market in North America in both accounting and payments will help our drive for growth in the USA where there are over 29 million small businesses.”
Peter’s appointment will be effective as of 24 February, 2014.
Xero is growing quickly in the UK. After operating as a start-up with people working from home and carrying out a whole range of activities to grow the business, we’re now an SME in our own right and part of a global organisation with astronomic aspiration and potential.
In common with many new, fast-growing companies there are some big challenges that we face in the HR team. How best to hire the right people? How can we retain our core talent? What are the best HR systems and processes to deliver on our business strategy?
Of the many potential issues and opportunities, keeping our employees engaged is one of the most important.
In the first of an ongoing series exploring these HR challenges, we’re going to look at the problem of keeping the natural energy, engagement and positive culture of a start-up alive as the business grows and takes on new people.
Going on the HR journey together
First off, an admission. I’m new too – I’ve not yet been in the role three months, so this is a journey that the business and I are going on together. I’ve joined Xero UK at an incredibly exciting time in its development. We’re growing fast and, as the UK’s HR Manager, I’m going to be involved in hiring a lot of new ‘Xero Heroes’ over the next few months. It’s a brilliant opportunity, both for me and anyone else who’s recently joined or who is about to join the team.
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Over the years we’ve built up a great collection of videos – how-to videos, videos covering Xero essentials, and case studies. But the videos were sometimes hard to find, as they were spread all over our website, blog and other places. So we created Xero TV to bring it all together.
Xero TV is (xero.com/tv) a one stop shop for all video content on Xero.com. We now have all our videos in one convenient place that gives you a powerful learning tool at your fingertips, offering engaging video-based learning journeys and exciting updates.
We want it to be the fastest and easiest way for you to access our range of video content.
But we think Xero TV speaks for itself. Check it out and let us know what you think!