Home  |  About Alex  |  Flying  |  Travel

About Alex

I work on product at Xero, building beautiful accounting software for small businesses.

A while back, I took a sabbatical break, most of which I spent travelling and learning to fly small planes. During those adventures I travelled 105,000 miles and visited India, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the US.

Before this sabbatical journey, I set up Xero's business in Asia and grew the team to more than 30 people. With the help of my amazing colleagues, we were able to dramatically grow Xero's customer base in the region, scale up a huge channel partner distribution network, and build strategic partnerships with major banks around Asia.

Way before that, I built and ran the Asia business for a big advertising & technology services group. Most of that was corporate development and I worked on (and closed! and integrated!) a series of acquisitions in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The end result is today a wildly successful regional digital consultancy - all of the credit for which goes to the brilliant entrepeneurs and team who came together while I solved mostly the obscure accounting, tax and legal problems that come with complex cross-border merger and acquisition transactions.

Even more way before that, I was strategy director, consultant and software engineer at an agency that is now known as AKQA. In the early days I built stuff (mostly web applications) for clients and managed the agency's content management and e-commerce products and its cloud hosting business. After a while, I mostly made presentations about making web applications rather than making web applications. Later, I mostly made presentations about buying companies that make web applications.

Sometimes, in the course of consulting work I would even make presentations about making presentations. Such ever increasing levels of abstraction would make for an excellent chart in a presentation, but I like what I'm doing these days much more because it benefits real customers in very real ways.

Along the way, I picked up some degrees: an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BA in History and Politics from the University of Melbourne.