Dave Stephenson leaves Amazon to become Airbnb CFO
Brian Cesky CEO of Airbnb announced this morning that current Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) VP and CFO of Worldwide Consumer Organization Dave Stephenson will be their new CFO starting early 2019.
Vacancy at Airbnb
In February Laurance Tosi left Airbnb after over 2 years of serving as the CFO, Tosi had worked for Blackstone Capital before and had a strong background in financial operations from that position. Tosi left in early 2018, Cesky stated in 2017 that the plan was to take Airbnb public before 2020. There was talk about going public in 2018, however after Tosi left Chesky said there were no plans to go public in 2018 and would do the process on their own timetable. In 2017 Airbnb was valued at $31 billion, their revenue was $2.6 billion with a profit of $93 million. Airbnb currently has over $4 billion in their bank account and had turned away more private investors over the last few years because the capital wasn’t needed.
Airbnb praised Stephenson immensely in their hiring press release stating with Chesky saying:
“Dave is one of the best financial operators in the world and there’s no one better prepared to serve as our CFO. I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved, but Airbnb is just getting started. 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.”
Previously Stephenson held the position of CFO and VP of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer Organization, where responsibility included Amazon Prime, Whole Foods and Zappos, he had been with Amazon for 17 years, broken up briefly working at Big Fish as head of finance.
Earlier in 2018 Airbnb hired Greg Greely to be their president of homes, Greely was also an Amazon executive previously as well. A company of Amazon’s size is likely to have a few executive departures every now and then, but two heading to Airbnb is worth noting. In recent years mobility among talent in silicon valley has risen since the anti-poaching lawsuit in 2015 (Amazon and Airbnb were not involved in the lawsuit). With the impending IPO, it makes sense to strengthen the executive team, and have veterans who know how to manage large public companies. Since the Spotify IPO (NYSE:SPOT), Uber and Airbnb have remained with the biggest speculation around their market value, especially when revenue is so high compared to the profit in their current states. It will be interesting to see if Airbnb can make their 2020 internal deadline for an IPO.
Source: Airbnb Press Release