Airbnb says the former Blackstone Group CFO has decided to focus on his investment fund, Weston Capital Partners, and dedicate time to the other boards he currently sits on. We reached out to Airbnb to ask about the company’s search for a replacement.
“We have a search firm (Crist Kolder Associates) on board to help with a CFO search,” an Airbnb spokesperson told VentureBeat. “Ellie Mertz, our head of global FP&A, will serve as interim head of finance. Ellie has been with Airbnb for nearly five years and has been instrumental in directing and building our finance team.”
The departure of Tosi will certainly delay the company’s exit on the public markets. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky put rumors of an imminent initial public offering (IPO) to rest:
I know people will ask what these changes mean for a potential IPO. Let me address this directly. We are not going public in 2018. Our primary focus is becoming a 21st-century company and advancing our mission. We’re working on getting ready to go public and we will make decisions about going public on our own timetable.
Last but not least, the company announced that it is promoting Belinda Johnson to the position of COO. Johnson joined Airbnb in 2011 as general counsel. She was promoted to chief business affairs and legal officer in 2015, and is known as the “Sheryl Sandberg of Airbnb” — a fitting comparison as she is now also COO.
Based in San Francisco, Airbnb was last valued at $31 billion and has been a private company for 10 years.