Board of directors
David Thodey AO
CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Independent 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 currently chairman of Tyro, Australia’s only independent EFTPOS provider, 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 Blucora, a provider of technology-enabled financial solutions, and Ruby Receptionists, a virtual customer engagement solution provider.
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 a board member of ACC (New Zealand Government Crown entity) and chair of the ACC Investment Committee, and a director of Chorus (NZX and ASX listed). His 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.
FOUNDER AND 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 the 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 2020, Lee joined the global executive team at Afterpay and is responsible for driving the business’s strategy for new platforms, products and services. Lee is also chair of chnnl, a platform that provides employee wellbeing insights. 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, 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 a former technology entrepreneur who co-founded mobile pioneer Omega Logic in 1999, which co-launched prepay top-ups in the UK. Dale led the growth of top-up transactions to £450m within five years then turned to investing and advising startups and won the British Angel Investor of the Year award in 2011. Dale is currently a non-executive director at the Cranemere Group, Jupiter Fund Management, Rated People, LendInvest, and Lightspeed Commerce and is 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 the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. 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 the Queen in 2013, for services to business.
Independent director since February 2017
People and Remuneration Committee (Chair)
Susan is an experienced 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. She will retire as a director of Property for Industry in December 2022.
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 was 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.
COMPANY SECRETARY & ACTING CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER
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.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Steve leads the global growth and performance of Xero. With more than 30 years’ experience in global technology and digital media, Steve has worked in leading international businesses including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. Steve led the growth of online media business Ninemsn from startup to industry leader as the company’s CEO. Steve previously served on the boards of Telstra, David Jones and Medibank, and has an honours degree in civil engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
Anna leads Xero’s product teams, spearheading product management, development, design, and product marketing to bring more exciting Xero features to partners and small businesses. Anna has a wealth of experience in online financial services and operations. Before joining Xero as managing director for New Zealand in 2016, Anna led internet banking at ASB and the digital first strategy at Spark. Anna has a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma in commerce from the University of Auckland.
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 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 STRATEGY & CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Damien leads Xero’s global strategy, corporate development and partnership teams. Prior to joining Xero, Damien spent nearly 20 years at Deloitte in a number of senior strategy, M&A, and other executive roles and was a founding partner of Deloitte’s global online and mobile technology practice, Deloitte Digital. He holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT University, Melbourne and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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.