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Xero's Drury to hand over reins to Steve Vamos next month

Xero's Drury to hand over reins to Steve Vamos next month

By Paul McBeth

March 5 (BusinessDesk) - Xero chief executive and co-founder Rod Drury will hand over the day-to-day running of the company to veteran tech executive Steve Vamos from next month.

The handover will be effective from April, leaving Drury to focus on innovation and strategy as a non-executive director, with the board placing a high priority on the software developer's succession planning, it said in a statement. Vamos is a former head of Microsoft Australia and Apple Computer Australia and New Zealand and is currently a director of Telstra and Fletcher Building.

"Rod’s achievement of building a global company and community from New Zealand is unmatched and on behalf of the board I’d like to thank him for his tremendous leadership since founding the company," chair Graham Smith said in a statement. "With a strong leadership team in place, Steve’s appointment underpins the important evolution from a founder-led company to a business with worldwide scale. At the same time, Xero will continue to benefit from Rod's product vision as a non-executive director."

Drury helped set up Xero 11 years ago, listing at an early stage of the business's life and gaining momentum as the company attracted customers. The Wellington-headquartered, ASX-listed company has more than 1.2 million subscribers, operates in more than 180 countries and employs more than 2,000 in 17 offices, and is valued at A$4.55 billion by market capitalisation.

"Xero has recently achieved a number of key milestones: we've achieved positive ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) and operating cash flows, consolidated our listing on the ASX and built an exceptional leadership team," Drury said. "It's now the right time for me to pass the baton to Steve, who has the experience to significantly expand Xero internationally."

Vamos officially starts on April 1, and won't join the board of directors.

Xero's shares last traded at A$32.88 on the ASX and have gained 15 percent so far this year, having listed on the NZX at $1 apiece in 2007.



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