Airbnb will go public in 2020 where Ahrendts’ addition to the board would prove massive.
Global hospitality service providers Airbnb has added former Apple retail executive Angela Ahrendts to its board of directors. Ms. Ahrendts has been vice president of retail at Apple, who will be joining as the third independent non-affiliated board member. Ahrendts has been CEO of the British fashion house Burberry for eight years before she joined Apple in 2014. Airbnb says Ahrendts will bring expertise in creativity, community building, and the ability to scale to its board. At Apple, Ahrendts oversaw over 500 Apple stores in 25 countries. Ahrendts’ aim was not only to increase iPhones and Macs but turn the stores into community gathering places.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky released a statement saying, “Angela has a reputation for pushing brands to dream big, and she told me that’s exactly what she hopes to bring to Airbnb’s board.” Airbnb has been adding elite experts to its board of directors as it inches towards an initial public offering, possibly in 2020. In August 2018, Airbnb tapped Ann Mather who was former Disney and Pixar executive. Ms. Mather was the first female addition to the all-male board. Furthermore, in January 2018, Airbnb added Ken Chenault who was formerly a chief executive officer of American Express.
Airbnb is aiming for building an end-to-end travel platform, complete with home sharing and hotel booking along with business travel experiences and more. Ahrendts’ addition will be massive for Airbnb as it begins making its big pitch to potential shareholders. “I have known Brian, Joe, and Nate for years and have a deep admiration and respect for their vision, purpose and the positive impact they want Airbnb to make in communities all around the world,” said Ahrendts in a statement while speaking about Airbnb’s founders.