Rod Drury

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Rod Drury
Rod Drury, NZ Open Source Awards, 2007.jpg
Drury in 2007 at the New Zealand Open Source Awards
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Wellington, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealander
Occupationtechnology entrepreneur
Known forfounding Xero
Net worth$1 Billion (2019)

Rodney Kenneth Drury (born 1966) is a New Zealand technology entrepreneur. He is the founder and former CEO of the online accounting software company Xero. He also is a former director of Trade Me,[1] and was a key player in the now-defunct Pacific Fibre project.

Early life[edit]

Drury is the son of a tradesman and an executive assistant.[2] He grew up in Hawke's Bay, where his father traced a lineage to Ngāi Tahu.[3] He was raised in a middle-class family and had only a vague idea of his Māori ancestry.[4]

Drury attended Napier Boys' High School, where he developed an interest in computer programming.[3] He went on to study commerce and administration at Victoria University of Wellington. After university, he worked at the accounting firm Arthur Young, which became Ernst & Young in 1989.[2]


In 1995, Drury established Glazier Systems, a New Zealand software development and consulting company. Glazier Systems was acquired by Advantage Group[5] in 1999 for approximately $7.5 million.[6] Drury subsequently founded and served as CEO of AfterMail which was acquired by Quest Software (subsequently acquired by Francisco Partners and Elliott Management Corporation).[7]

In July 2006 Drury founded Xero, a publicly listed software as a service accounting-software company, and served as its CEO.[8]

In October 2007, Drury was a judge for the New Zealand Open Source Awards.[9]

Drury co-founded Pacific Fibre, a company which attempted to build an internet cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.[10] The cable would have cost around $400 million but the venture was ultimately unsuccessful.[11]

In November 2017, he sold $95 million worth of shares in Xero, leaving him with a 13 per cent holding in the company. He stated the sale would support his "future plans to pursue a range of philanthropic and social endeavours." He stepped down as CEO of Xero in March 2018, continuing on with the company as a non-executive director.[12]


Drury was awarded the Hi-Tech New Zealand "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in 2006 and 2007.[5][13]

In August 2008 Drury was conferred the title of Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society (HFNZCS) during the 2008 NZ Computerworld Excellence Awards. He is only the 21st person to be awarded the title in the Society's 48-year history.[14]

In 2012, Drury was awarded NZ Herald Business Leader of the Year.[15]

In 2013, Drury was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year.[6]

In 2014, Drury was honoured with an award for the Outstanding Contribution to Technology in NZ at the CIO Awards 2014.

Personal life[edit]

As of 2016, he lives in a "high-tech townhouse" in Havelock North, Hawke's Bay region with his family.[6][16] He also enjoys surfing and skateboarding in his free time.[2]


  1. ^ Rose, Sally (2014-09-21). "No guts, no glory for Xero boss". Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Leading questions: Rod Drury". NZ Herald. 2011-12-25. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  3. ^ a b Rod Drury: from surf and software to shares and social endeavours
  4. ^ Market whizz-kid enjoys Kiwi lifestyle
  5. ^ a b Cooney, Matt (13 December 2006). "Rod Drury: Repeat offender". idealog. Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Anthony Hubbard (2014-01-10). "Market whizz-kid enjoys Kiwi lifestyle". The Dominion Post.
  7. ^ Miller, Ron. "Confirmed: Dell sells software division to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  8. ^ Moore, Martin (17 October 2013). "Xero founder Rod Drury takes entrepreneur prize". Fairfax. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  9. ^ "New Zealand Open Source Awards". 2007-10-17. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  10. ^ McBeth, Paul (8 January 2011). "Pacific Fibre adds Facebook and Paypal". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  11. ^ Fletcher, Hamish (3 August 2012). "Politics helped kill cable". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  12. ^ Rod Drury stands down as CEO of Xero, replaced by Aussie
  13. ^ "Hi-Tech Awards site". 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  14. ^ "Honorary Fellows of the IITP (HFIITP)". About the IITP. Institute of IT Professionals of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  15. ^ "Business leader of the year: Rod Drury". New Zealand Herald. 2012-12-15. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  16. ^ "Local lifestyle, global dominion for Bay's hi-tech ambassador". Retrieved 2016-01-04.

External links[edit]