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Elmo Software taps Xero managing director for CEO


Joseph Lyons was appointed due to his track record of scaling tech companies and building high-performing teams, Elmo says.

By Christine Chen 10 minute read

Xero APAC managing director Joseph Lyons has left the small business platform after two years at the helm to become the CEO of Australian HR software firm Elmo. 

Mr Lyons assumed the role from president Nord Samuelson who had been acting as interim CEO since July 2023, Elmo said.

Chairman Bruce Gordon said Mr Lyons’ appointment comes after a global recruitment search to find the right candidate. 

“There were two main attributes we were looking for in a new CEO: an exceptional track record of scaling tech companies in Australia, New Zealand, and across the globe, and deep experience in building high-performing customer-centric teams,” he said. 

“Joseph has demonstrated these attributes at the highest level and is an exceptional cultural fit for the Elmo Group of companies and for our valued customers.” 

“We are delighted to have Joseph on board to serve our customers and partners, and look forward to working with him to release the full potential of Elmo.” 

Mr Lyons spent the last four years at Xero, becoming managing director of the Asia-Pacific region in 2021 where he was “responsible for driving growth in the country’s most established markets of Australia and New Zealand as well as newer markets across Asia”, Elmo said. 

He also had a stint as the chief commercial officer of retail listings company REA Group for six months in 2019, after three years as executive general manager. 

Mr Lyons said: “I am excited to join the talented team at Elmo and look forward to building on the company’s 21-year heritage and strong foundations to shape the next chapter of success.” 

Mr Lyons would be responsible for growing Elmo’s software business across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He saw a “huge opportunity to provide high-impact HR software solutions to mid-sized organisations that meet their increasingly complex needs”. 

“I have been particularly impressed by the focus across the Elmo team to support the needs of customers and partners alike. I am confident that the business is poised to accelerate its growth, and feel I am joining the team at an incredibly exciting time,” he said.

Elmo agreed to a $486 million takeover by US firm K1 Investment Management in 2022 to help balance “macroeconomic and execution risks in achieving future plans”, according to then-chairman Barry Lewin. 

Since the deal, other additions to Elmo’s executive team included the appointments of Sarah Dart as chief customer officer, Joshua McKenzie as CTO and CFO James Haslam as COO.

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen


Christine Chen is a graduate journalist at Accountants Daily and Accounting Times, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting sector.

Previously, Christine has written for City Hub, the South Sydney Herald and Honi Soit. She has also produced online content for LegalVision and completed internships at EY and Deloitte.

Christine has a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Sydney. 

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