The Team That Will Lead Airbnb Through Its IPO

George Paul · August 13, 2020
Airbnb
Editorial credit: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock.com

Airbnb is reportedly planning to file initial public offering (IPO) paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this month, meaning it could be publicly listed by the end of the year. According to The Wall Street Journal, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are backing the offering but the news outlet noted that it isn't guaranteed that Airbnb will follow its timeline because of hard to predict market conditions.

The decision follows a turbulent few months for the home-sharing platform, which was forced to cut 25% of its workforce due to the economic repercussions of measures meant to contain coronavirus. Moreover, the pandemic’s impact on the travel and hospitality industry forced CEO Brian Chesky to tell employees that the company’s 2020 revenue will be less than half of the $4.8 billion it earned the year prior.

However, the future is looking brighter for Airbnb, as on July 8, guests booked more than one million nights of future stays on the platform, the first time that volume of bookings had been reached since the onset of the pandemic. The money raised by the IPO will go a long way to fund the company as it looks to continue its rebound from the coronavirus.

Here’s the leaders at Airbnb who will likely play a significant role in executing the company’s IPO.

Airbnb Desktop

Airbnb’s Head of Investor Relations, Ian Lee, brings a wealth of experience to the position that will be crucial as the company goes public. He has over 15 years of experience as a financial communications executive at both pre-IPO and publicly traded companies. In his position, he will help to define the company’s desired investor base and provide relevant and timely information and insights that can help guide investors.

As the home-rental giant’s Chief Legal Officer, Rich Baer will be central to the company’s IPO efforts. He was hired in September 2019, less than a week after the company announced its plans to go public in the next year, and brings a wealth of experience overseeing global legal teams for public companies. This experience will ensure Airbnb is well guided through the IPO process and is ready for the additional legal responsibilities once it is listed.

The most prominent figure through the IPO process will be the company’s Chief Finacial Officer, Dave Stephenson, who was hired in January 2018 to quarterback Airbnb’s long-term growth. As the head of the company’s finance and accounting group, it will be on Stephenson to ensure all the financial information is in order and the company’s future prospects look bright.

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