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The Inside Story of Airbnb’s Management Shakeup and Battle to Stay Private

Authors : Olivia Zaleski and Eric Newcomer, Bloomberg - Feb 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Source : Skift


Who needs an IPO when you can control the limits of space and time on an “infinite time horizon” like Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky? Also, if two-thirds of the company’s profits were being generated by ex-CFO Tosi’s hedge fund within the company, how will the company fare without him?

Deanna Ting



Early last week, the top executives of Airbnb Inc. gathered in San Francisco for annual planning meetings. They were brimming with confidence. The home-rental company had exceeded financial projections for 2017, with $93 million in profit on $2.6 billion in revenue, said people with knowledge of the matter. Airbnb was ready, by some employees’ estimations, to begin the process to go public.


But the boss had another view. Brian Chesky, the 36-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer, privately informed his financial chief, Laurence Tosi, that Airbnb wouldn’t initiate an initial public offering this year. The news came as a surprise to Tosi. He had been discussing the prospect with major investors before transitioning to a larger role beyond finance.


Chesky made it clear that things wouldn’t go as Tosi wanted. Chesky said he would promote Belinda Johnson, who was running business affairs and legal, to chief operating officer. Tosi had expected to get the COO job after Airbnb’s public offering. He’d struggled to work with Johnson in the past, and some insiders viewed the move as a way to force Tosi’s departure. Accounts differ on whether Chesky