Xero's global chair to step down

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Global Xero chair Graham Smith will step down from the board of directors at the end of January, in preparation for his planned retirement in March.

According to Xero, Smith's departure was earlier than planned due to the health of close family members and the travel required by the job. Smith joined the board as an independent director in 2015 and assumed the chair two years later when Chris Liddell departed to take a job in President Donald Trump's U.S. administration.

Former Telstra CEO David Thodey will take over the chair starting February, Xero said.

"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," Smith said in a statement.

In recent years, Xero delisted from NZX, the New Zealand stock exchange. Founder-CEO Rod Drury stepped down as CEO, handing over the reigns to Steve Vamos, formerly of Telstra and Microsoft. The company remains listed on the Australian stock exchange.

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