Airbnb names its first COO, says it won't go public in 2018

As the home rental company's CFO steps down, Belinda Johnson is promoted to chief operating officer.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Belinda Johnson will be responsible for leading Airbnb's legal, policy and communications teams.


Airbnb has its first chief operating officer: Belinda Johnson.

The home rental company said Thursday it promoted Johnson to this position as it forges ahead to build itself into a "21st century company." 

Johnson was previously the company's chief business affairs and legal officer. In her new position, she will be responsible for leading Airbnb's legal, policy and communications teams.

"The COO is one of the most critical positions in any company," Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. "Belinda has a track record of making Airbnb run better … She fiercely protects our culture and she has defined the way we partner with community leaders and policymakers around the world."

Airbnb appears to be laying the groundwork for an initial public offering, which is rumored to happen within the next couple of years. Chesky outlined his plan last week to focus more on stakeholders, this included naming outgoing American Express CEO Ken Chenault as Airbnb's first unaffiliated independent board member and sending stakeholders an annual letter.

However, Chesky said Thursday that Airbnb is not going public anytime soon.

"We are not going public in 2018," he said. "We're working on getting ready to go public and we will make decisions about going public on our own timetable."

Johnson's promotion comes as Airbnb's Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi steps down. Tosi said he's leaving to work on his investment fund Weston Capital Partners.

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