Former Telstra CEO Thodey to be Xero chair

Xero has named former Telstra chief executive David Thodey as chair after family health issues prompted Graham Smith to retire from the board of the cloud accounting software firm.

Mr Thodey, who led Telstra for six years until April 2015 and has been a non-executive director at Xero since June, will take over as chair when Mr Smith steps down on February 1.

Mr Thodey is currently a non-executive director at UK-listed Vodafone and Ramsay Health Care, is chair of EFTPOS provider Tyro, and is chair of national scientific research agency CSIRO.

“My fellow directors and I are very pleased to have attracted someone of David’s calibre to the board and to succeed me as chair,” Mr Smith said on Friday in a statement.

“David brings deep experience to Xero from his career as a business leader in global technology and telecommunications, and has made a valuable contribution to the board since joining.”

Mr Smith, who has chaired Xero since April 2009, accelerated his retirement plans because the health of close family members would diminish his capacity to travel to New Zealand for board meetings.

Xero shares have increased fourfold in value on Mr Smith’s watch and were priced at $78.88 ahead of Friday’s open.


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