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Xero Adds Three U.S Leaders

Rod Drury, XeroCloud accounting vendor Xero has strengthened its management team in the United States with the hiring of three executives. The Australian company placed new leaders in key business areas as the it regroups from the departure of Peter Karpas in September as the CEO of the company's North America operations after seven months.

 CEO Rod Drury says there will be more hires. "We're thrilled at the growth we're achieving in our initial three markets and are now focused on execution in the important U.S. market and are making good progress on building our leadership team there," Drury said in a prepared statement.

The company had viewed the need for on-site leadership in this country as so important that it had the CFO stationed here, Drury was spending two out of five weeks on this side of the Pacific and the SVP of sales was running the American sales effort.

The new hires include John Forrester, VP of U.S, Marketing. He most recently held the same title at RingCentral. James Maiocco who led investment and partnership efforts for Microsoft Ventures globally, has taken over as GM of business and corporate development. And the company hired another Microsoft veteran, Angus Norton, as SVP and chief product officer. Norton was said to have led product management for the Microsoft Office business in the U.S.

The hirings were announced as Xero reported results for the first half ended September 30. The company's loss reached roughly $19.1 million, 43-percent higher than for the first half of fiscal 2014. The good news was that subscription revenue increased at a faster pace, up 85 percent to roughly $40.6 million

Worldwide, subscriptions at the ended of the most recently complete half reached 371,000, an increase of 76 percent from 211,000 a year earlier. There were 22,000 North American subscribers, up 120 percent from 10,000.

Australia, which became the home of the largest number of Xero subscribers, had 158,000 of those, double the 79,000 a year ago and the number in the United Kingdom slightly more than doubled to 61,000, up from 30,000. The company had 119,000 in New Zealand, compared to 86,000, where the rate of growth slowed to 38 percent.

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