As news broke today that Rod Drury intends to step down, we take a look back to November 2016 where Xero announced the company would open a new office in Napier and create 30 support jobs.

From creating jobs, to inspiring other businesses to make the move, the office is being applauded by local figures as a "huge opportunity" for Hawke's Bay.

Drury said then the move demonstrated his company's commitment to New Zealand and the importance of creating regional technology employment opportunities.

OPPORTUNITY: The new Hawke's Bay Xero office could be located at the Tech Hub, currently under development in Ahuriri. PHOTO/FILE.
OPPORTUNITY: The new Hawke's Bay Xero office could be located at the Tech Hub, currently under development in Ahuriri. PHOTO/FILE.

"It used to be that people needed to live in the major cities to accelerate their technology careers, but that's changing quickly," he said, adding new technology enabled people who wanted "a fulfilling job with a good life balance" to do so from places like Hawke's Bay.

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"Opening this new office provides that opportunity to draw on talent across Hawke's Bay
and lessens the burden on housing and transport in cities like Auckland and Wellington -
win-win."

The Hawke's Bay native said he was proud to be able to create jobs in the region - an obligation all Kiwi businesses had.

"If we want New Zealand to be better we've got to get the regions strong," he said.

"We're incredibly proud but also feel quite obligated that companies like ours have to show some leadership."

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Wayne Walford said opportunities created by the likes of Xero and the Tech Hub would attract younger "wealth creators" and innovators to the region, and bring locals back.

"All we needed was a catalyst and I think the Tech Hub is that," he said.

With Drury's prominent profile, Walford said the decision to locate the centre in Napier would "have a ripple effect that I don't think anyone can imagine right now".

The company has 21 offices in 15 locations throughout the world, and Xero is used in more than 180 countries by more than 860,000 customers.