Alice Chan joins startup Xero as VP of global comms

The cloud-based accounting software company is introducing itself in the US.

SAN FRANCISCO: Alice Chan, founder and former principal of Bird PR, has joined small business-facing cloud-based accounting software company Xero as VP of global communications.

Chan spent a few months working with Xero in a consulting role, but came onboard officially this week. She is reporting to Andy Lark, CMO of Xero.

The company, which is better known in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, will focus on introducing itself to a US customer base of primarily small business owners and individuals in the accounting and bookkeeping spaces, Chan said.  

"The main challenge is driving awareness, staying current, and becoming more and more relevant," she added. "We’re on a journey to own this market and drive small-business success in the US and around the globe."

Xero also recently partnered with WPP digital consultancy Group SJR, she said, adding that the two have a similar outlook on a brand’s ability to take charge of its own content while using traditional media as well.

Although Chan will be "100% focused on Xero," her consultancy, Bird PR, isn’t shuttering.  

"I never hired employees; we worked as a pool of freelancers and contractors and decided what business best suited us," she explained. Libby Kearney will oversee its operations.

Chan will be based in San Francisco. Xero has another office in Denver.

Before spending nearly five years at Bird PR, Chan held roles including acting VP of marketing at Drop, GM and SVP of Red Consultancy, SVP and partner at FleishmanHillard, and MD at Sparkpr, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has also written about food for the SFoodie blog under the name "Alice Dishes."

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