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Airbnb Hires Amazon Veteran as CFO

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted November 27, 2018

Being talented and experienced in the tech industry makes you an extremely desirable candidate for new companies, especially if those companies are trying to make a place for themselves in the public markets.

Amazon has become a success story that many companies are trying to emulate. The company has done more than penetrate just one industry — over its 11 years of trading publicly, it’s been able to expand its business into a variety of industries and have actual success doing it.

What gets a company to that point is the help of strong leaders and employees who are focused on and dedicated to a company’s success.

Airbnb Hires Amazon Veteran for CFO Position

Home-renting company Airbnb, Inc. is taking note from Amazon. Well, maybe more than just taking note. The company announced on Monday, November 26th, that it has hired, Inc. veteran Dave Stephenson as chief financial officer (CFO).

Stephenson is expected to begin working for Airbnb in January 2019. He will replace Laurence Tosi, who departed the company back in February.

Dave Stephenson was with Amazon for 17 years. He was in the thick of it. He was recently vice president and CFO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer organization. This department is responsible for all of Amazon’s global website sales, including its Prime service. He helped build up a crucial part of Amazon's revenue and success as a company.

He joined Amazon as a finance manager back in 1999, two years after the company had its initial public offering. Before Amazon, Stephenson was working for Procter and Gamble, another consumer giant.

This isn't the first high-profile Amazon exec to join Airbnb. Earlier this year, Airbnb hired Greg Greeley to be its President of Homes. While working at Amazon, Greeley was vice president of Amazon Prime and delivery experience. He helped build Amazon into the giant company we know today.

Airbnb’s CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky had this to say about the recent hiring of Stephenson:

Dave is one of the best financial operators in the world and there’s no one better prepared to serve as our CFO. In the years ahead, Dave will be Airbnb’s quarterback for long-term growth, driving us to be even more efficient and leverage what makes Airbnb unique to create new businesses and continue to expand.

Stephenson said:

There are tremendous opportunities to grow Airbnb’s existing businesses and invest in new ones that will help Airbnb grow stronger in the decades to come.

Airbnb’s focus on creating a team of experienced and talented execs comes at the perfect time. Well, maybe it’s less about timing and more about strategy. In the past few years, there has been much anticipation and conversation about an Airbnb initial public offering (IPO). There tends to be a lot of focus on highly valued companies like Airbnb.

Airbnb mentioned earlier this month that it had “substantially more” than $1 billion in revenue for the third quarter. The company was established 10 years ago in 2008, and this is the first time it has revealed its revenue in those 10 years. Airbnb wants investors to see that it is making money and has grown in the short decade it’s existed.

Airbnb Getting Ready for a 2019 IPO

The company has begun its efforts to market its soon-to-be IPO and set up investor expectations.

First, it’s been getting everything in order with execs, choosing talented and experience execs who can take the company to the IPO finish line... or starting line, depending on how you look at it.

Next, it’s proving that it is expanding its business and is viable as a company.

Currently, Airbnb has been valued by private investors at $31 billion. It’s currently in the list of the largest U.S. startups. In the last few months of 2018, it has begun creating new services and offerings to ramp up growth. One example is its decision to add hotels and luxury homes to its platform.

Hiring Stephenson into the company's CFO position after not having a CFO for nine months will help put Airbnb on the right path for growth and expansion. While Stephenson was working for Amazon, he was crucial in the company’s biggest acquisitions of Whole Foods and Zappos, which further proves he knows what he's doing.

Airbnb has a strategy and is getting investors excited about its IPO. Personally, I can’t wait to see what the company does next to get the public to anticipate its IPO even more.

A mid-year IPO is to be expected for Airbnb, adding it to the list of highly valued startups that are aiming for a 2019 IPO. It’s going to be a big year for IPOs. We’re already hearing talks about IPOs from Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Pinterest, and Slack. A lot of the tech startups that we’ve become familiar with over the past few years — that happen to be worth billions — are expected to hit the public market in 2019.

It’s going to be a year to remember, and you don’t want to miss out! If you want to stay up to date on Airbnb and other highly anticipated IPOs, click here. Not only will you stay on top of this popular and highly anticipated IPO, but you’ll also learn more about under-the-radar IPOs.

Watch this presentation for more IPO insight!

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia Signature Park Avenue Digest

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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