BusinessDesk report by Suze Metherell
Xero has appointed Chorus marketing and sales general manager Victoria Crone to head its New Zealand operation as cloud-based accounting software maker continues its drive to grab customers.
Crone will join Xero’s Auckland office in April this year as New Zealand managing director, joining the Wellington-based accounting software maker after 18 years with Telecom and Chorus. She previously managed Telecom’s sales strategy and operations for its retail arm, and developed Telecom’s approach to future services and products
“Most of our New Zealand sales have been in Auckland and we already have a big team up there, but the global head office will remain in Wellington,” chief executive Rod Drury told BusinessDesk. “We thought it was time to establish the role in New Zealand – it’s the same corporate structure we have everywhere else.”
Xero is forgoing short-term profits as its chases one million customers worldwide, crossing the 200,000 mark at the end of last September. Its New Zealand unit still dominates, with 85,500 local customers as at Sept. 30, about 40 percent of its client base. That’s down from 51 percent a year earlier, when it had 57,300 New Zealand customers.
Last November Xero decided to find a new local boss as founder and group CEO Drury spent more time overseas to help the software developer’s drive into the US market.
“Our vision is to make New Zealand an international case study for electronic business,” Drury said.
Xero has recruited over 90 new staff members in the past three months, and now employs more than 600 staff.
The shares rose 0.5 percent to $40.20 in trading today, adding to this year’s 24 percent gain.
Shares in Chorus rose 0.7 percent to $1.52. The stock more than halved last year as Chorus faced the threat of regulated prices trimming its revenue stream.