SME accounting platform Xero has appointed experienced technology executive Alex von Schirmeister as MD for the UK & EMEA.

Von Schirmeister brings more than 25 years of senior leadership experience to the role, having worked in eCommerce, payments, telecommunications, FMCG and consultancy. He will start at Xero on 1st December. 

Prior to Xero, von Schirmeister led the European operations for small business payments technology company SumUp, and before that held senior leadership positions at Electrocomponents plc and eBay, where he gained exposure to a large constituency of merchant sellers.  

Gary Turner, who in July announced his retirement after 12 years in the role, will step down on 31st December 2021 to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities. Turner will continue to play a part in Xero’s growth, in a global advisory capacity, as well as building his own portfolio career.

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Rachael Powell, Xero’s chief customer officer, said: “We’re thrilled to have a leader of Alex’s calibre step into this role. He brings a wealth of international commercial acumen as well as a huge passion for, and understanding of the small business environment and technology.  

“We’d like to thank Gary for his incredible contribution in helping to build and scale the Xero brand in the UK and EMEA to what it is today.”

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Von Schirmeister, who is also a seed investor in tech startups, lives in London with his wife and children.

He said: “Xero has such a wonderful community of small business customers and partners and I can’t wait to work with them.

“I’m determined to deliver on the promise that our platform can bring in unlocking small business potential, to help with economic recovery and promote the incredible role that accountants and bookkeepers play as trusted advisors.”