In Portfolio

Airbnb hires CFO: Dave Stephenson, Amazon exec

Download this article, initially published on on 11/26/2018 and written by Deirdre Bosa, here.
Airbnb hires new CFO from Amazon
  • Airbnb has hired Amazon VP Dave Stephenson as CFO ahead of its anticipated IPO in 2019.
  • Stephenson spent 17 years as Amazon, most recently as VP and CFO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer Organization, responsible for all global website sales. He also spent a couple years as President and CFO of Big Fish Games.
  • Stephenson is the second Amazon exec to join Airbnb this year, following Greg Greeley, who is president of Homes.
After a search that's lasted nearly 10 months, Airbnb finally has a CFO. The home-sharing start-up is announcing Monday that Dave Stephenson will join Airbnb as chief financial officer. He spent 17 years at Amazon, most recently as VP and CFO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer Organization, responsible for all global website sales. His time at Amazon was interrupted by a two-year stint at Big Fish Games from 2011 to 2013, where he held a number of titles, including president and CFO. The hire brings Airbnb another step closer to a potential IPO in 2019, filling a position that had been vacant since February, when Laurence Tosi left the company amid rumors of tensions with Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky. In a blog post, Airbnb said that in his most recent role at Amazon, Stephenson "oversaw gross merchandise sales in excess of $250 billion and helped the business achieve double digit revenue and operating profit growth over the past four years."
"Dave is one of the best financial operators in the world and there's no one better prepared to serve as our CFO," Chesky said in a statement. "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."
Former Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak added, "I had the pleasure of working with Dave during his long and distinguished career at Amazon. Dave successfully led the Finance function for many diverse and rapidly growing areas of the company including Retail, Marketplace and AWS, and built outstanding Finance teams along the way. Dave's high judgement, strong business partnering skills, and exceptional leadership capabilities position him well for success in his new role as CFO of Airbnb." Airbnb is one of the big anticipated IPOs of next year. Stephenson brings public company experience to the start-up and played a role in the integration of Amazon's biggest acquisitions, Whole Foods and Zappos. Earlier this month, Airbnb shared a quarterly revenue figure with the public for the first time in its decade-long history. It came less than a week after a Morgan Stanley report suggested that Airbnb's growth in the U.S. and some regions in Europe, its most mature markets, was slowing. Stephenson isn't the first Amazon executive that Airbnb has poached this year. In March, the start-up hired Greg Greeley, former VP of Amazon Prime and delivery experience, as its president of Homes. Greeley was with Amazon for 18 years. Stephenson begins in January and reports to Chesky.