​Xero chairman resigns to assist Trump in the US

Chris Liddell has stepped down from the cloud accounting firm to take up his new role as assistant to the president-elect of the United States.

Chairman and director of Xero Chris Liddell will step down from his responsibilities at the New Zealand-based cloud accounting firm on Friday, as he prepares for his new role of Assistant to United States President-elect Donald Trump.

In a statement made on Thursday, Xero CEO and founder Rod Drury congratulated Liddell on his new role and thanked him for his contribution and leadership during his tenure at the company.

"We have had the privilege of Chris' outstanding international leadership as chairman of our board over a key growth period where we more than tripled annualised committed monthly revenue (ACMR) from $93 million as at March 31, 2014 to $303 million as at September 30, 2016," Drury said.

"Chris leaves us in a good position with strong global revenue growth, our subscription revenues growing faster than our costs and a goal to achieve cash break even with cash on hand. We wish him all the best in his exciting new role."

Before joining Xero in 2014, Liddell previously worked as vice chairman and chief financial officer of General Motors, and was employed as senior vice president and CFO of Microsoft from 2005 to 2009.

In Liddell's absence, Graham Smith will take on the role of independent chairman of the board of Xero Limited, where he has already been director for two years, currently chairing the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Prior to his time at Xero, Smith was chief financial officer at Salesforce from 2008 to 2014 and previously held executive positions at Advent Software, Vitria Technology, Nuance Communications, and Oracle. Smith also serves as a board director at Citrix, Splunk, Mindbody, and BlackLine.

For the first half of FY17, Xero posted a net loss after tax of NZ$43.9 million, but experienced a 48 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to NZ$137 million.