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Microsoft ERP marketing chief joins Xero

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8th Jul 2009
Editor in Chief AccountingWEB
Columnist
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Microsoft Dynamics UK product marketing director Gary Turner is to defect to the ambitious, New Zealand-based Cloud accounting company Xero. John Stokdyk reports.

The position became vacant when Xero’s ground-breaking UK director Hamish Edwards decided to head back to Wellington. Starting on his own in the UK with help from New Zealand trade emissaries in 2008, Edwards recently convinced BT to select Xero as a partner in its online applications marketplace.

With that success behind him, Edwards is now planning the company’s assault on the north American market. With funds from a public listing in New Zealand and backing from MYOB founder Craig Winkler, Xero is investing heavily to position itself as a major global player for accounting in the Cloud.

But there’s still a lot of work to do in the UK, where the local team still has the feel of a start-up operation. With extensive experience in the accounting software market, Turner’s task will be to build up the organisation so it can develop and exploit new sales channels and partnerships - particularly within the accountancy sector.

Turner has a long track record in the accounting market, having started off as a salesman for a software reseller and working for Pegasus for 12 years, where he was managing director in 2003-6.

A pioneering blogger and Twitter user, Turner is a self-confessed geek who has the rare additional skill of being able to communicate his enthusiasms. For the past three years, he has put these talents to work for Microsoft, where he span a thread of thoughtful but increasingly implausible yarns about the company’s confusing and somewhat sluggish “software + services” ERP strategy.

Turner always looked slightly uncomfortable in a somewhat undefined product marketing role within Microsoft’s business applications wing and more than once was at the centre of rumours about Pegasus or other potential buy-out and acquisition targets.

Now, at least, one of the rumours has come true. At a farewell reception for Edwards held at New Zealand house in London, another explanation emerged for Turner’s occasional ambivalence. While working as a Microsoft executive, he admitted to being a long-standing Mac fan with a stable of them at home - and pulled out his trusty iPhone to prove his point.

Further reading

New UK MD - blog posted by Xero founder Rod Drury

For more details about Xero, see the company’s Brand profile on AccountingWEB.co.uk

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