Team announcement

Belinda Johnson to Join Airbnb Board of Directors

Belinda Johnson to Join Airbnb Board of Directors, Airbnb

Airbnb announced today that Belinda Johnson will be appointed to the Airbnb Board of Directors and that Johnson has decided to step down from her role as Chief Operating Officer. Johnson joined Airbnb in 2011 and has been integral to the growth of the Airbnb community into a global network of over 7 million listings on every continent except Antarctica.

Johnson said:

“I want to thank Brian for his kind words and let everyone know how excited I am to be joining Airbnb’s Board of Directors. For all that we’ve accomplished, we are still at the beginning of our Airbnb story with a lot of work yet to be done. And I’m thrilled to help lead that work going forward as a member of the Board. This is an amazing opportunity both as a next step in my career, and for me personally.

“Being COO at Airbnb is the best job I’ve ever had, so I want to share with everyone why I made the decision to step down now.

“When my kids were in elementary school, they would come to the office after hours, scooter around the halls, explore the themed conference rooms, eat the snacks and declare they couldn’t believe mom got to work at this magical place. Now they’re 14 and 17, too old to do those sorts of things. My oldest will be gone to college in less than a year and her younger sister will leave in three years.

“We talk a lot about balancing our work lives and our personal lives. For me, the balance part has always been doing my best over the years to be intentional about the choices I make and the priorities I set, and knowing when it is time to reset and prioritize differently. This is one of those times.

“I’m extremely fortunate to be able to make this decision and as I look back at the last eight years, I am amazed at how much we’ve achieved in such a short period of time. Having been a part of the team that took the risk to help build this company has been the journey of a lifetime. I would not change a minute of it. Being elevated to the Board of Directors and contributing to the long term success of Airbnb while taking more time to be with my amazing family is an incredible opportunity.

“I’m particularly thankful to Brian who has supported me every second of every day, including in this decision. Without question, he has more vision and creativity than anyone I’ve ever worked with. I’ve watched him meeting after meeting redirect the outcomes not just to be bigger and bolder, but to ensure that they are consistent with our values and advance our mission.

“As I said, we’re just at the beginning of the Airbnb story and I’ve never been more confident about our future.”

Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO, and Head of Community Brian Chesky said:

“Belinda was the first executive I ever hired. When I hired her, Airbnb was beginning to make noise with governments around the world and there were a lot of people who didn’t like us. Growing up, I just assumed that when people don’t like you, you should avoid them. Belinda taught me better. She told me that we should meet the people that don’t like us. As she said, ‘It’s hard to hate up close.’ This was counterintuitive to me at the time, but we went from a Secretary of War to a Secretary of State position, developing partnerships with communities and leaders around the world (500 and counting). We no longer debate ‘Will Airbnb exist,’ but rather ‘How will Airbnb exist?’

“One evening this summer, Joe, Nate and I were at dinner together discussing how to evolve our board. At this point, we knew about Belinda’s desire to spend more time with her family, but we also knew she wanted to stay involved in Airbnb. It became immediately obvious in that conversation that Belinda would make an excellent board member.

“Airbnb’s business is complicated and after eight years of having Belinda in the boardroom as an executive, we couldn’t imagine her not being there. But more importantly, we had a vision of something much larger. If we are going to be a 21st century company, we need to have a 21st century board. And if we are to be a 21st century board, we need to have someone on our board who could ensure that we are operating with our 21st century principles in mind. This job is best done by someone who has an intimate knowledge of Airbnb and the tradeoffs that are involved. Belinda is the perfect person to fulfill this role, and as a board member, her role will be as important as ever to Airbnb.

“Once Belinda transitions out of her role as COO, she will join our Board of Directors. Though we intend for her to serve on our board for a long time to come, I have told Belinda that she can return to Airbnb as an executive if she ever wishes to do so.”

SOURCE: Airbnb

More announcements from Airbnb

Team announcement

Catherine Powell to Lead Airbnb Experiences

Catherine Powell to Lead Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb today announced the appointment of Catherine Powell as Head of Airbnb Experiences. In this role, Powell will serve on Airbnb’s Executive Team and lead Airbnb’s Experiences business, managing a team spanning five continents that works to grow the number of high-quality offerings available to travelers and support Airbnb Experience Hosts. A veteran of the Walt Disney Company, Powell has lived and worked around the world over the last two decades to deliver immersive experiences to guests. Her appointment comes as consumers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z, are increasingly choosing to spend their time and money on local, authentic things to do rather than on consumer goods. Euromonitor estimated that “consumer’s expenses with experiences should increase from $5.8 trillion in 2016 to $8 trillion in 2030.” Launched in 2016, Airbnb Experiences have grown and succeeded: today, there are over 40,000 Experiences in more than 1,000 cities around the world. Airbnb Experiences immerse travelers in local communities by offering activities that are skilfully handcrafted and led by local experts. Experiences are unique, with many available only on Airbnb. And each Experience is reviewed to ensure it meets our quality standards before it is listed on the Airbnb platform. “Today, people are prioritizing things to do, not things to buy,” said Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky. “I believe Airbnb Experiences will be a massive business. Not everyone has a home to rent out, but everyone has a story, a passion or a talent they can share." “Catherine is the perfect person to lead this business. Some people can come up with creative ideas. Others know how to run big teams and scale big businesses. Catherine can do both. She has worked around the world, managing tens of thousands of people and delivering amazing moments to millions more. She has the creativity and the operational excellence we need to help deliver more experiences to more people and we are incredibly lucky to have her. In 2019, Airbnb launched new categories of Experiences including Airbnb Adventures, Cooking Experiences and Animal Experiences. For example, Cooking Experiences allow Guests to do anything from learning grandmas’ recipes to traditional Uzbek home-cooking, while Animal Experiences help people better understand animals through caring for them, guided by expert Hosts, and set a new standard for animal tourism. SOURCE: Airbnb

Team announcement

Rich Baer Joins Airbnb as Chief Legal Officer

Rich Baer Joins Airbnb as Chief Legal Officer

Airbnb announced today that Rich Baer will join the company as Chief Legal Officer. Over his long career, Rich has distinguished himself as an outstanding lawyer for large, fast growing public companies and leader of global legal teams with expertise in a wide range of complex matters at the intersection of law, business and society. “Airbnb makes it possible for anyone to belong anywhere. Our success in pursuing this goal depends on our ability to balance the interests of all stakeholders in the Airbnb community around the world,” said Airbnb Chief Operating Officer Belinda Johnson. “As someone who has served as the general counsel for fast scaling, large, complex, globally branded and publicly traded companies, Rich will be an incredible advocate for all our stakeholders and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Airbnb team.” “I’ve met with numerous hosts and heard their inspiring stories, hiked Red Rocks on an Airbnb experience, and seen firsthand how Airbnb is changing the way we travel, helping people belong anywhere in the world and providing economic empowerment. I’m inspired by Airbnb’s purpose to drive belonging and how it is intently focused on balancing the interests of its diverse array of stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees, and communities. I am excited to have the chance to work with the incredibly talented Airbnb team and can’t wait to get started.” Rich Baer, Airbnb Chief Legal Officer. Named by the National Law Journal as one of the country’s top general counsels, Baer has unparalleled experience and a long record of success. A trial attorney by training, Baer has led the legal teams at Qwest Communications where he helped lead the turnaround of the company, United Health and most recently, Liberty Media. Liberty is a set of five public companies which own or hold large stakes in companies such as SiriusXM, Formula 1, LiveNation Entertainment, TripAdvisor, Qurate, Zulily, the Atlanta Braves, Charter Communications and GCI, among others. Throughout his career, Baer has focused on making the legal community more diverse and inclusive. Under his leadership, Qwest was named by the Minority Corporation Counsel Association as an Employer of Choice and Rich was named a Diversity Trailblazer by the Colorado State Bar Association. In addition to his legal work, Baer is Chairman of the Board at National Jewish Health, and has served as a board member of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation, the Daniels College of Business Executive Advisory Board and the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence. Baer is a graduate of Columbia University and Duke University School of Law. He will start at Airbnb in early October and report to Belinda Johnson. Baer will be based in San Francisco. SOURCE: Airbnb

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