Ahead of IPO, Airbnb Says It Will Prioritize Wide Range of 'Stakeholders'  and Not Just Shareholders

Airbnb defines stakeholders as investors, employees, hosts, guests and communities, and will establish a board committee and internal group dedicated to prioritizing those stakeholders.
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Every company feels an obligation to shareholders, but Airbnb is taking a broader view of its responsibilities.

In a blog post on Thursday, Airbnb sketched out a vision of 21st-century governance that takes into account not just shareholders and employees, but other “stakeholders” in the company. Those include its networks of hosts and guests as well as the communities Airbnb operates in.

“These principles inspire behaviors that lead to thinking not just about near-term actions but longer-term horizons. They encourage us to think about all our stakeholders and instill accountability,” the company wrote.

It identified metrics for each stakeholder category by which the company can evaluate its success. It plans to share more of those those results going forward, it said.

Airbnb will also govern itself differently than a typical company, beginning with its compensation: It will tie bonus awards to “progress on our stakeholder principles,” such as guest safety or customer service surveys.

Airbnb COO Belinda Johnson, who will leave her role on March 1 and join Airbnb’s board, will lead a dedicated Stakeholder Committee on its board of directors. Joe Zadeh, a longtime Airbnb executive, will lead a new stakeholder-focused team within the company itself.

Sometime in the coming months, Airbnb says it plans to host a “stakeholder day,” at which time it will share updates and progress and offer programing designed for various stakeholders.

Airbnb said last September that it plans to go public “during 2020.” Its valuation has been reported at around $31 billion.