Meet the boss: Xero

Last updated 13:34 03/06/2014
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Xero co-founder and CEO Rod Drury.

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DREAMS: Xero CEO Rod Drury hankers after a career as a professional skateboarder.

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Rod Drury is the chief executive of accounting software firm Xero. He wants to be a professional skateboarder.

It's election year - what could the Govt do to help business?

The one thing that would make a difference to us is a second fibre cable to the USA so we can do high quality, multi-party video calls between our teams and partners. The Government has done a good job on debt and one exciting transformational infrastructure project like a new cable would make the mixed ownership programme make sense to all New Zealanders.
 
What do you like about doing business in Auckland or Wellington?

I live in Hawke's Bay and work a few days in Auckland and Wellington most weeks. New Zealand is wonderfully small and the combination of living in the provinces with the stimulation of time in our two funky cities creates the perfect balance.
 
How will your business look in 10 years?

Our vision is for Xero to be an iconic global company making life better for millions of business owners all over the world. We're on track.
 
What's the biggest business mistake you've made?

Not taking a holiday between businesses. Once you get started with a growth business it's a merry-go-round that never stops.
 
What's the best advice you've been given?

Some times you need to back the train up to connect all the carriages. Always bring people with you on the journey. I try to communicate our vision constantly to our team so they know the importance of the work they do every day.
 
What did the GFC teach you about business?
 
Having a portfolio of customers. There are always growth opportunities even when times are tough.

Why should people and companies do business in NZ?

If we want better schools and hospitals we need to create higher value exports and jobs. We are the country furthest away from anyone else. Technology allows service based businesses to export. As an island nation imagine if all business owners were passionate about sending an invoice overseas this week. We can have the benefits of living in NZ with our unique lifestyle, with better social services by participating in the massive global economy. Best of both worlds.

Tell us something that would surprise us about yourself.

I still wish I was a professional skateboarder.
 
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Elon Musk is one of the most interesting people in tech right now. I'd love to have a meaty conversation with Tim Cook who runs Apple. Lot's of questions on why they haven't done things.
 
What question do you wish reporters would ask you?

None.

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