Laurence Tosi, the Chief Financial Officer at Airbnb Inc. is quitting the company in the midst of disputes within the organization. The company was supposed to go public soon, but Tosi’s resignation raises questions about the timeline of their initial public offering.
Tosi’s departure from the organization was sudden and unpredicted, although there were reports of some discord between him and CEO Bran Chesky. Tosi wanted to control costs and build partnerships, but Chesky was more enthusiastic to investing in his grand dream for the future of travel.
Tosi started working with Airbnb in 2015. His career graph includes working with Blackstone as their CFO since 2008. Blackstone is the largest private real estate investor in the world, and with this experience in hand, Tosi was expected to take Airbnb to its IPO. Back in 2011, Tosi was also approached by Steve Jobs for the CFO role at Apple, which he turned down. At some point Tosi was also named as a possible successor to Stephen Schwarman.
For his part, Tosi said, “The two and half years I’ve spent at Airbnb have been some of the most thrilling of my career. While the time is right for me to build my own business, I will miss working with the top tier teams we have assembled and am confident that they will continue to create value for Airbnb and our community.”
Currently the search is on at Airbnb for a new CFO. While the company finds a suitable replacement, Ellie Mertz, head of Global Financial Planning and Analysis at Airbnb will serve as acting CFO.
Another long-time executive at Airbnb, Belinda Johnson, the Deputy Chief of Business Affairs and Legal Officer, will be promoted to COO. Johnson joined Airbnb in 2011m and has been leading the efforts to work with city governments. She has also been at the forefront of the company’s legal battles.
“The COO is one of the most critical positions in any company,” Chesky said. “Before the holidays, I made a decision about who was right for this role, and I’m incredibly excited to announce that we have appointed Belinda Johnson.”