Meet the Xero Board, executive and regional leaders
Meet Xero's Board, executive and regional leadership teams. Find out about their roles, background and experience.
Board of directors
David Thodey, AO
CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Independent non-executive director since June 2019 and Chair since February 2020
Nominations Committee (Chair)
People and Remuneration Committee
David is a business leader focused on innovation, technology and telecommunications, with more than 30 years' experience creating brand and shareholder value. He is Chair of the Xero Board and a non-executive director of Ramsay Health Care, a global hospital group.
David was CEO of IBM Australia and New Zealand and Telstra, and has wide experience as a board director including as a past director of Vodafone Group, CSIRO, CSL, and TelstraClear. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University of Wellington and completed the post-graduate General Management Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. David received an honorary Doctorate in Science from Deakin University in 2016, an honorary Doctorate in Technology from University of Technology in 2018, and was recognised for his services to business and ethical business leadership with an Order of Australia (AO) in 2017.
Independent director since October 2020
People and Remuneration Committee
Steven is an entrepreneur and professional director with more than 25 years’ experience in creating and delivering products within the technology and accounting software industries. Steven is currently a non-executive director of Semrush, an online visibility management SaaS platform, and a previous non-executive director of Avantax.
Steven has held a range of senior executive roles, including at GoDaddy, the world’s largest services platform for entrepreneurs, where most recently he was chief product officer. Prior to this, Steven was the CEO of Outright, an online bookkeeping service, which was acquired by GoDaddy. Steven has also held various senior management roles at Intuit, including vice president of strategy and innovation for the small business division. Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.
Independent director since April 2020
Audit and Risk Management Committee (Chair)
People and Remuneration Committee
Mark is an experienced professional director with more than 20 years of international experience in corporate finance and investment banking. He is currently the chair of Chorus, a board member of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) New Zealand and chair of the ACC Investment Committee. His recent previous directorships include Z Energy and Milford Asset Management (chair).
Mark was at Deutsche Bank for 10 years, initially based in Sydney in mergers and acquisitions, then in London as a managing director and co-head of a European M&A industry group. Mark holds a Bachelor of Business Studies (Accounting & Finance) from Massey University New Zealand, is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
XERO FOUNDER / NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Director since July 2006
For more than a decade, Rod led Xero to be a global software business and S&P/ASX 100 company. Rod started his career at Ernst & Young and went on to establish and lead a number of innovative technology businesses. Rod was formerly an independent director of the NZX and Trade Me. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (Accounting, Information Systems) from Victoria University of Wellington. At the Deloitte Top 200 Awards in 2017, Rod was named Visionary Leader of the Year. He was named Ernst & Young New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, and is a member of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame.
Independent director since April 2014
Audit and Risk Management Committee
Lee has more than 20 years’ experience internationally in the financial services industry and has held senior executive roles in marketing, strategy and risk in large-scale customer-facing businesses. In 2022, Lee joined Block - she holds the roles of lead, Cash App Financial Operations and Co-Lead of Global. Lee was recognised by IBM as one of 40 Women Leaders in Artificial Intelligence across the globe for her work in delivering world-first innovations. Lee holds a Bachelor of Business from the Auckland University of Technology, and is an alumni of the Berkeley Haas School of Business. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women, which represents Australia’s most senior and distinguished female leaders.
Independent director since February 2022
Audit and Risk Management Committee
Brian is a professional director who has extensive experience from his career as an executive and CEO driving growth and innovation for leading technology, software-as-a-service and cloud-based companies. His experience includes leading Pandora Media, a streaming music provider in the US, and aQuantive, a digital marketing services and technology company that was acquired by Microsoft.
Brian is currently lead director of Frontdoor, the largest provider of home service plans in the United States, and is presiding director on the board of The New York Times. He was previously a director of Chewy and Teledoc Health and chairman of Grubhub.
Brian has been included in the National Association of Corporate Directors Directorship 100, which recognises the most influential board members. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Economics from Harvard College and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Dale Murray, CBE
Independent director since April 2018
Audit and Risk Management Committee
Dale is an experienced non-executive director and former technology entrepreneur and CEO. Dale is currently a non-executive director at the Cranemere Group, Jupiter Fund Management, Rated People, LendInvest, and Lightspeed Commerce and a board advisor to Accelerate:Her. She was formerly a non-executive director and trustee for the Peter Jones Foundation, a non-executive director at Sussex Place Ventures and at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (UK).
Dale co-founded and was CEO of mobile pioneer Omega Logic in 1999, which co-launched prepay top-ups in the UK, leading the growth of top-up transactions to £450m within five years. She then turned to investing and advising startups and won the British Angel Investor of the Year award in 2011. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the London Business School and served on the Business Taskforce on EU Redtape for the British Prime Minister in 2013. Dale was made Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, for services to business.
Independent director since February 2017
People and Remuneration Committee (Chair)
Susan is an experienced non-executive director and business leader with a particular interest in helping companies to drive growth through technology, innovation and organisational culture. Susan is currently the chair of Vista Group and an independent director of Arvida Group, Mercury NZ, and Craigs Investment Partners.
Susan is also a board member of non-profit Global Women and was previously a member of the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal. Susan is a past director of ASB Bank and Trustpower and a past ministerial appointee to the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. Susan holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Otago.
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER & COMPANY SECRETARY
Damien is a legal and governance professional and leader with more than 20 years’ experience advising senior management and boards. Prior to joining Xero, Damien was Company Secretary and Deputy Group General Counsel at Telstra. Damien holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University. He is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
As CEO Sukhinder leads the growth and performance of Xero globally. With more than 25 years’ experience in Silicon Valley as a CEO, digital leader and board member, she has experience building and scaling global companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Joyus and StubHub.
She currently serves on the board of publicly traded fintech, Upstart with previous experience serving on the boards of Ericsson, Trip Advisor, Urban Outfitters, Stitchfix and J.Crew. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (Honors), Business Administration & Management from Western University, Ontario, Canada.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Kirsty leads Xero’s global financial team driving financial outcomes, actively managing the group’s financial performance, optimising the business's balance sheet, and communicating the group’s strategic and financial priorities to stakeholders including investors. Kirsty is an FCA and FCPA with more than 25 years’ global experience in the finance and technology sectors across New Zealand and the UK at companies including PwC, BBC Technology, Jade and Siemens. Kirsty holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management from Lincoln University.
CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
Diya leads Xero’s product teams driving product management, development, design, and product marketing to further improve Xero’s global small business platform for partners and small businesses. Diya has market-leading global experience in designing, developing and launching consumer and business products in high growth mid sized companies, startups and Fortune 500 brands. Before joining Xero in 2023, Diya was Chief Product Officer at Okta where she led product innovation for both its workforce and customer identity business. Prior to that she was Vice President of Product Management at Google, where she was focused on driving adoption for some of the company’s leading products. Diya has a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Michigan.
CHIEF GROWTH OFFICER
Chris leads the global growth and operational performance of Xero's Applications & Services businesses, including Financial Services, Payroll, Planday, and Ecosystem teams. He also leads Xero's strategic development in the Americas. With over 25 years of experience, Chris has served as an executive and board member for many global technology companies, including Google and Evernote. Chris holds a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Huron University College.
CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER
Rachael is responsible for Xero’s global sales, marketing, communications, and customer functions. Throughout her career she has held leadership positions in marketing, sales and HR, predominantly in digital and technology companies. Rachael believes customer experience must resonate from the inside out and advocates for positive engagement programs to effectively mobilise the business strategy at scale. Rachael has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology, a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Business, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Mark leads the platform, security, data and automation teams at Xero and is responsible for enabling Xero’s technology platform for growth and innovation. Before joining Xero, Mark was the chief technology officer for Microsoft New Zealand and the chief product and technology officer for Trade Me. Mark has a PhD and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Canterbury.
CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER
Nicole leads Xero’s people experience function globally. As an established human resources leader, she has more than 20 years’ experience in human resources strategy development and execution, delivering value-adding organisational people solutions and transformational change programs. Nicole has worked across the financial services, technology and telecommunications industries for companies including AMP and Microsoft.
CHIEF BUSINESS OPERATIONS & STRATEGY OFFICER
Angad is responsible for leading the development and execution of Xero’s global strategy and driving operational excellence. He joined Xero in early 2021 and prior to that worked at Deloitte for 13 years in various roles, most recently as Partner, National Lead in the Strategy & Transformation Office. Angad has a Bachelor in Information Technology from the University of Technology Sydney.
Executive leadership: Regional leaders
MANAGING DIRECTOR, APAC
Joseph was appointed managing director, APAC in 2022 after a year as managing director, Australia & Asia. Joseph is responsible for driving Xero’s next phase of growth in APAC. He joined Xero as executive general manager of sales in 2019 and has worked in roles across a range of sectors in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada. Before joining Xero, he was the chief commercial officer at ASX listed REA Group. Joseph is a member of the Institute of Company Directors in Australia, and has a Bachelor of Management degree focused on marketing from the University of South Australia.
Alex von Schirmeister
MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNITED KINGDOM & EMEA
Alex is responsible for leading Xero’s operations across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has more than 25 years’ of senior leadership experience, having led teams across Europe and Latin America in ecommerce, payments, telecommunications, FMCG and consultancy. Prior to Xero, Alex led the European operations for small business payments technology company SumUp, and before that held senior leadership positions at Electrocomponents and eBay, where he gained exposure to a large constituency of merchant sellers. Alex holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, International Business from Georgetown University, and a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD.
COUNTRY MANAGER, AUSTRALIA
Will was appointed country manager, Australia in 2022 following other leadership roles at Xero including three years as country manager for Canada. As country manager, he is responsible for supporting the small business economy in Australia and for Xero’s relationships with the Australian government, financial institutions, and enterprise. Will joined Xero in 2015 working in the Australian commercial finance team, before being appointed finance director in the US and assisting with the launch of Xero in Canada. Prior to joining Xero, he held commercial finance roles at Lion and Woolworths. He has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from the University of Technology, Sydney.
COUNTRY MANAGER, CANADA
Faye is responsible for expanding Xero's business in Canada. She has over 15 years' experience growing businesses from the ground up across a range of industries, including consumer packaged goods and disruptive technology. Prior to joining Xero in 2020, Faye spent five years at Uber where she helped launch Uber Eats globally and Uber Freight across Canada. She has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen's University.
COUNTRY MANAGER, US
Ben is responsible for driving Xero’s growth in the United States. In 2013, he joined Xero as New Zealand sales director where he led the business' national growth and spearheaded Xero's global agriculture strategy. Prior to joining Xero, Ben worked in a large regional accounting practice before joining New Zealand's largest telecommunications company in a senior accounting role. He was also one of the founding board members of the Spark Foundation. Ben is a chartered accountant and earned a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in accounting, finance and information systems from the University of Canterbury.
COUNTRY MANAGER, NEW ZEALAND
Bridget is the country manager for New Zealand, responsible for overseeing the execution of New Zealand’s go-to-market strategy, revenue, market share, and advancing Xero’s brand as a leading small business platform. She has over ten years of experience across global financial services, technology, and media. Prior to Xero, Bridget held various strategic marketing and leadership positions at TVNZ, Orion Health and ANZ. Bridget holds a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Law, with Honours in Media Law, from the University of Auckland.
COUNTRY MANAGER, SOUTH AFRICA
Colin Timmis is the country manager for South Africa, leading business operations and growth across the country for the last three years. He joined Xero in 2016 as head of accounting, South Africa. Colin has over 12 years of experience in the accounting profession and has expertise in cloud accounting software implementation, development and best practice. In 2011 he founded South Africa’s first ever cloud practice, Real Time Accounting, and later became the first Xero-certified advisor in South Africa. Colin has also worked at global accounting firm BDO and is a SAIPA certified accountant.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR, ASIA
Koren was appointed regional director, Asia in 2022. She is responsible for driving Xero's growth in Asia, working closely with leading financial institutions and governments in the region to bring value to the small business and partner community. Koren joined Xero as senior partner marketing manager in 2017, establishing Xero’s global sales enablement function, and has since held other global leadership positions at Xero. Prior to joining Xero, she was chief operating officer at DCCS Australia. Koren holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology) from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.