R&D and innovation news: Xero CEO Rod Drury stepping down

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Xero CEO Rod Drury has announced he will be stepping down from the chief executive position at the company he founded 11 years ago.

Replacing Drury is Steve Vamos, who has been working closely with Xero’s executive team over the past 18 months in preparation for his takeover.

Vamos will join the New Zealand company with 30 years of tech industry experience under his belt, most notably having held the position of CEO at Microsoft Australia from 2003 to 2006 where he then continued as the company’s vice president of worldwide sales and international operations until 2008.

He was also CEO of Ninemsn from 1998 through 2002; Apple Computer Australia and New Zealand’s managing director in 1994 and 1995 and Asia Pacific managing director from 1996-1998; and prior to that he held various roles at IBM since 1979.

Vamos has been a non-executive director of Telstra since September 2009.

“It’s been a huge 11-plus years building Xero. It’s amazing to consider we started with just four people in a small Wellington apartment and we now have over 2,000 people across 17 offices in eight countries, and over 1.2 million subscribers,” Drury said in a statement to shareholders on Monday.

“I’m so proud of the Xero team, the community that’s formed around us, the positive impact we’ve had on our customers, and the shareholder value we’ve created.”

Drury will remain with the company as a non-executive chair and will continue his focus on innovation and strategy when Vamos takes the chief role officially next month.