Airbnb announces changes to executive team

Airbnb announced Tuesday three moves on the company’s executive team, including a change in chief financial officer.

Dave Stephenson, the company’s CFO since 2019, is stepping into a new role as the company’s first chief business officer. He will be replaced by Ellie Mertz, an 11-year veteran of Airbnb who now serves as vice president of finance. She will take over as CFO following the February earnings call.

Meanwhile, Catherine Powell – the global head of hosting at Airbnb and a member of the board of, an independent nonprofit that provides support for people in need of emergency stays – announced she will be leaving the company next year to transition to an advisory role.

In an email to employees, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said Stephenson’s new role will drive growth across the company’s existing and new businesses.

“As we expand beyond our core, it will be paramount to have an executive dedicated to our long-term growth plans, and there’s nobody better than Dave to do this,” Chesky wrote. “As chief business officer, Dave will be across all aspects of our strategy to expand beyond the core. This includes driving international expansion, growing global host supply (across existing and new businesses) and leading all business and corporate development activities at Airbnb.”

No Airbnb executive has worked longer with Chesky than Mertz, who oversaw Airbnb’s 2020 initial public offering.

“Ellie has been my right hand for nearly 11 years,” Chesky said in the email. “Under her leadership, our company grew from adolescence to adulthood, with revenue growing over 100 times.”

Regarding Powell, Chesky said he spent a lot of time discussing the transition with her.

“Catherine is a trusted partner and friend,” he said, “and while I’m sad she’ll be leaving Airbnb, I know she won’t be leaving my life.”

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