Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) has announced that Steve Vamos will replace Rod Drury as the new CEO of Xero.

Xero is Australia and New Zealand’s leading cloud accounting software provider, it is also expanding in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Rod Drury has been leading Xero for over 11 years and has built it into a formidable competitor in the accounting software world.

Mr Drury commented on the journey, “It’s amazing to consider we started with just four people in a small Wellington apartment and now we have over 2,000 people across 17 offices in eight countries, and over 1.2 million subscribers.”

Xero said that Mr Vamos has been working closely with the executive team to develop its management capability and operating model over the past 18 months.

Mr Vamos has more than 30 years’ experience in technology and digital media including roles at IBM, Apple and Microsoft.

The Xero chairman, Graham Smith, said that the company has been focusing on leadership change recently.

Mr Smith said: “Succession planning has been high on the Board’s agenda and with the business performing strongly, we believe the time is right to make the transition at CEO level.”

The Xero chairman also paid tribute to Mr Drury’s achievements as CEO, “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.”

Xero has achieved cloud accounting market share leadership in New Zealand and Australia under Rod Drury’s guidance. In the UK, Xero grew its subscribers by 54% to 253,000 by the half of the first half of the 2018 financial year, compared to the previous year.

Mr Vamos said he was determined to continue the growth, “I’m excited to have this opportunity to lead Xero’s growth and development going forward. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Xero leadership team and we have a clearly communicated strategy, which we are committed to executing.”

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. – Smith

The change will be effective from 1 April 2018. Mr Drury will move into the position of non-executive director.

The Xero share price is down 3.59% in opening trade according to Google Finance.

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