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Xero sets sights on the U.S. with new executive hires

Cloud-based accounting software provider hires new Board Chairman, Director and CEO of North America

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 12, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/34ff

New Zealand-based cloud-based accounting software provider Xero is getting ready to make a big splash in the United States by completely revamping its top team in the country.

The company has hired three people, a new Board Chairman, a new Director and a new CEO for North America, it was announced on Tuesday.

Let's take these one at a time.

For its new Board Chairman, Xero has hired Chris Liddell, who is the former CFO for both Microsoft and General Motors. He will be replacing Sam Knowles, who has resigned as Director and Chairman of Xero Limited immediately.

He was also the CFO of International Paper from 2003 until ­2005, and he also held the CFO role at Carter Holt Harvey from 1995 until 1998, before becoming CEO of the company in 1999.

The company's new director will be Bill Veghte, who runs HP’s Enterprise Group as its Executive Vice President and General Manager. Prior to that, he spent almost 20 years at Microsoft where he held roles that included Senior Vice President for Windows Server.

Finally, Xero's new CEO of North America will be Peter Karpas, who is the Vice President and General Manager,North America for Small & Medium Business at PayPal. Prior to that, he worked  at Intuit as Chief Marketing, Product Management Officer and Senior Vice President.

He will be taking to job on February 24th.

Xero has made it clear in the past that it views North America as its next big target. In October, when the company raised $150 million, it said that it would use the money to "continue building a world-class team in the US market and support continued global growth."

Founded in New Zealand in July 2006 by technology entrepreneur Rod Drury and specialist small business accountant Hamish Edwards, Xero is a competitor with Quickbooks: it provides accounting software for small businesses and their advisors.

The service allows its customers to see their cashflow in real time, to automatically import and code their bank statement, create and send invoices automatically, and to get paid online. With Xero, businesses can be connected directly to the banks, and offers a dashboard where all the business' transactions appear in a real time view.

Xero first entered into the U.S. market in 2011 and it should be noted that U.S. investors have taken a big intest in the company; American investor, inclduing Valar Ventures, which is backed by Peter Thiel, and Matrix Capital, accounted for $123 million (NZ$147 million) of the company's latest fund raising round.  

Thiel previously invested NZ$4 million (around $3 million U.S. dollars) into the company in October 2010, also joining Xero’s US Advisory Board.

Xero has offices in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, where it is based in San Francisco. The company has over 200,000 paying customers in more than 100 countries around the world

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