New Xero Executives Hail from PayPal, HP, Microsoft, and GM

Some of the most successful technology executives in the country are joining small business cloud accounting developer Xero Limited (XRO), the company announced on Tuesday. The include a new chairman of the board, adding a further U.S.-based director, and establishing a new role of CEO, North America, following its $150 million capital raise in October 2013.

Former General Motors CFO Chris Liddell will assume the role of chairman, former Intuit and PayPal executive Peter Karpas will lead the US team as CEO, North America, and former HP general manager Bill Veghte has been appointed as a director.

“As you would expect from a fast expanding software company, our strategy is to increase US representation on our Board," said Xero CEO and Founder Rod Drury. "These three high caliber appointments are all significant additions to our American-based leadership team and position us strongly in the US and globally. Adding their combined experience and capabilities will help us become the global leader in small business financial software.”

Liddell has been appointed as to replace Sam Knowles as chairman, who resigned effective on Tuesday. Liddell most recently worked with General Motors where he held the Vice Chairman and CFO roles since joining the organization in January 2010. He led the company’s global finance operations and its US$23 billion IPO in November 2010.

Prior to General Motors, Liddell held the Senior Vice President and CFO roles at Microsoft between 2005 to 2009, served as CFO of International Paper from 2003 - 2005 and held the CFO role at Carter Holt Harvey from 1995 to 1998 before becoming CEO in 1999. 

“Sam [Knowles] has helped guide us through a period of rapid global expansion to over 600 people operating across four countries," Drury stated. "His experience ensured we put in place the right foundations, systems and processes that enabled us to scale, while retaining our nimbleness and culture. We thank him for his enormous contribution and leadership.”

Based in San Francisco, Veghte's role will be as non-executive director of Xero Limited. He runs HP’s Enterprise Group where he is executive vice president and general manager. In his role, he is responsible for the development and delivery of IT infrastructure solutions and the direction, management, and delivery of HP’s cloud efforts. HP’s Enterprise Group is a US$28 billion annual revenue business that includes server, storage, networking, technology services, and cloud solutions.

Prior to HP, Veghte spent nearly 20 years at Microsoft where he held roles such as corporate vice president for Windows Server, then corporate vice president, North America before acting in the role of senior vice president until May 2010.

Karpas will assume the new role of CEO, North America, effective February 24. He joins Xero from PayPal where he recently held the position of vice president and general manager, North America for small and medium business. Karpas has also held a number of senior roles at Intuit, including chief marketing and product management officer and senior vice president.

“We are thrilled to have Peter join our team and lead our US business," Drury said. "His proven leadership, comprehensive familiarity with the B2B market in North America in both accounting and payments will help our drive for growth in the USA where there are over 29 million small businesses.”