Former Telstra, IBM Australia CEO David Thodey adds Xero to board interests

The current CSIRO chair has been announced as Xero's latest non-executive board member.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

New Zealand cloud accounting firm Xero has announced the appointment of David Thodey as its latest non-executive board member.

"David is an experienced business leader with a career focused on global technology and telecommunications, with more than 30 years dedicated to creating brand and shareholder value," Xero said in a statement to the ASX on Thursday.

Thodey said he was excited to join Xero.

"I've watched Xero become a great global technology business that has grown and scaled from New Zealand. I'm excited about the opportunity to join Xero as a director and contribute to the future direction of the company," Thodey said.

See also: Xero founder Rod Drury steps down as CEO

Following his resignation from the CEO position at Telstra in May 2015, Thodey assumed responsibility as chair of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for five years.

Before joining Telstra, Thodey had a 22-year career with IBM, working in senior marketing and sales positions, including as CEO of IBM Australia and New Zealand.

He also last month picked up a spot with Vodafone Group as a non-executive director with effect from 1 September onward.

Thodey is also a non-executive director of Ramsay Health Care, payments firm Tyro, and is chair of NSW independent organisation JobsNSW.

He is currently leading the federal government's review into the Australian Public Service, which former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commissioned in mid-2018.

The Australian technology industry veteran will assume the position at Xero filled currently by Bill Veghte, who joined the board in 2014 as an independent director.

Before joining Xero, Veghte was executive vice president and general manager of computing giant HP's enterprise group. Prior to that, he worked for Microsoft, serving as corporate vice president for Windows Server, corporate vice president of North America, and senior vice president.

"It has been a privilege to help Xero grow and scale as a technology business over the last five years," Veghte said in a statement.

For the full fiscal year to 31 March, the cloud accounting firm once again recorded a net loss, this time falling into the red by NZ$27.1 million.

Operating revenue, however, grew to NZ$552.8 million, which represented a 36% increase year on year. The company also recorded positive cash flow for the first time, amounting to NZ$6.5 million for the full year, which was an increase of NZ$34.5 million from the year prior.


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