5 Mar 2018

Xero founder and CEO Rod Drury stepping down

3:41 pm on 5 March 2018

Founder and chief executive of the cloud accounting software company Xero, Rod Drury, is stepping down at the end of the month.

Xero CEO Rod Drury

Xero CEO Rod Drury Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Drury, who led the company for over a decade, will be replaced by Steve Vamos, who had been part of the company's executive team for the past 18 months.

Mr Drury will stay on as a non-executive director with a focus on developing strategy and product innovation.

While Mr Drury's departure was a surprise, Xero said succession plans have been in the works for some time. It followed the company's decision to delist from the New Zealand stock exchange at the end of January in favour of the ASX.

Mr Drury said the time was right to pass the baton to Mr Vamos, who demonstrated he had the experience necessary to significantly expand Xero internationally.

Mr Vamos, who will start on 1 April, has more than 30 years of experience in technology and digital media roles. He has worked for some of the world's largest firms, including as chief executive of Microsoft Australia, managing director at Apple in New Zealand and Australia, and various executive roles with IBM.

He will get a base salary of $966,000 a year.

Mr Drury, who was named New Zealand's top visionary leader in last year's Deloitte's Top 200 award, said he would focus on strategy and innovation as a non-executive director.

"Steve has demonstrated to the board and me that he has the skills and experience we need to execute Xero's next phase of growth, while I contribute to strategy as a non-executive director with my passion for product innovation," he said.

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