Online accounting software provider Xero announced an expanded U.S. executive team and board of directors Wednesday, appointing Peter Karpas as chief executive officer in North America, Chris Liddell as chairman of the board and Bill Veghte as director of the board.

These appointments bring in leadership from companies including Hewlett Packard, PayPal, Microsoft, General Motors and Intuit.

[IMGCAP(1)]“As you would expect from a fast expanding software company, our strategy is to increase U.S. representation on our board,” said Xero CEO Rod Drury in a statement. “These three high caliber appointments are all significant additions to our American-based leadership team and position us strongly in the U.S. and globally. Adding their combined experience and capabilities will help us become the global leader in small business financial software.”

Peter Karpas, CEO, North America, joins Xero from PayPal, where he served as vice president and general manager, North America, for small and medium business. Prior to that, he held senior roles at Intuit, including chief marketing and chief product management officer and senior vice president.

"The small business market is a massive opportunity and one that I am tremendously passionate about,” stated Karpas. “Hard working business owners across the U.S. contribute to more than half of our nation’s GDP, and Xero is driven to help these businesses prosper. I’m beyond thrilled to work with U.S. President Jamie Sutherland and the team, as I’ve been a huge fan of Xero’s cloud platform for several years and am impressed with its progress and customer centric approach. I believe we can be the No. 1 solution for small businesses in America and we’re building the best team to make that happen.”

Karpas’ appointment will be effective Feb. 24.

[IMGCAP(2)]New York-based Chris Liddell, appointed chairman, replaces Sam Knowles, who resigned as Xero’s director and chairman, effective Wednesday.

Most recently holding the roles of vice chairman and CFO during his tenure at General Motors, Liddell led the company’s global finance operations and $23 billion IPO in November 2010.

Previously, Liddell served as senior vice president and CFO at Microsoft and prior to that, CFO at International Paper. He had joined from Carter Holt Harvey, where he became CEO in 1999.

Based in San Francisco, new director of Xero’s board Bill Veghte currently runs HP’s enterprise group as executive vice president and general manager.

[IMGCAP(3)]In this role, Veghte is responsible for the enterprise group’s $28 billion annual revenue business, including the development and delivery of IT infrastructure solutions and the direction, management and delivery of HP’s cloud efforts. Previously, Veghte was the corporate and then senior vice president for Windows Server at Microsoft.

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