Xero changes the guard, with MD Trent Innes stepping down for sales director Joseph Lyons

- May 31, 2021 2 MIN READ
Xero managing director Joseph Lyons
Xero's incoming MD Joseph Lyons
Xero’s Australia and Asia managing director, Trent Innes, has called time on his eight-years leading the ASX-listed venture.

The cloud-based accounting platform’s executive GM of global sales, Joseph Lyons,  will step up to the MD role to start the new financial year on July 1. Innes will remain in the business until September to oversee the handover.

Lyons joined Xero 18 months ago to lead the sales team, having spent the previous five years on the executive leadership team of ASX-listed REA Group.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to build on what our teams across Australia and Asia have achieved so far, and I’m looking forward to supporting the success of our partner community and small business customers,” Lyons said.

Xero (ASX:XRO) has seen strong growth during the tenure of Innes, with Australian subscribers rising from 300,000 to more than 1.1 million. But the New Zealand fintech is under increasing pressure from international accountancy platforms as well as a rejuvenated MYOB since it was delisted from the ASX in May 2019 and taken into private equity hands under Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Xero has been on an acquisition spree, acquiring Planday, Tickstar, and Waddle in the last year to expand its capabilities. And the fintech remains a favourite with investors and one of the ASX’s leading tech stocks, with the share price rising by around 52% in the last 12 months.

Xero shares have climbed around 1.5% to $132.50 today, not on news that Innes will depart, but more likely a note from Morgan Stanley today, which lifted its price target for the stock to $137 alongside an ongoing overweight rating.

Trent Innes said he “absolutely loved” his time at Xero.

“It has been the best place I’ve worked in my career. I am so proud of what we have accomplished over the past eight years, and feel now is the right time to pursue new opportunities,” he said.

“After a sustained period of high growth in both Xero Australia and Asia, the business and our teams are in excellent shape and it’s the right time for me to hand over to Joseph to lead the next chapter of growth.”