Airbnb has gone to the well again, snagging yet another Amazon (AMZN) executive to lead the business towards a probable 2019 IPO.
This time, the private company has poached Dave Stephenson, a 17-year Amazon veteran and current VP and CFO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer Organization, which is responsible for all global eCommerce sales. The move takes Stephenson away from the company he joined from Procter & Gamble (PG) in 1999 and has remained with since that time, save a two-year hiatus with Big Fish Games.
The big name hire positions the company well for a much-anticipated IPO ahead, filling a gap that has existed since the departure of previous CFO Laurence Tosi in February, a development that derailed talks of an earlier IPO. The hire may spark speculation anew.
"I'm proud of everything we've achieved, but Airbnb is just getting started," CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. "In the years ahead, Dave will be Airbnb's quarterback for long-term growth, driving us to be even more efficient and leverage what makes Airbnb unique to create new businesses and continue to expand."
Stephenson will join the executive suite in January, and he will report directly to Chesky.
Amazon's Executive Exodus
Airbnb's gain is Amazon's loss. Again.
"I had the pleasure of working with Dave during his long and distinguished career at Amazon," former Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak said in a statement. "Dave successfully led the Finance function for many diverse and rapidly growing areas of the company, including Retail, Marketplace and AWS, and built outstanding Finance teams along the way."
Most recently, Stephenson headed up online retail sales, making his departure on Cyber Monday an inauspicious one.
Stephenson is not the first Amazon veteran to shift allegiances to Airbnb this year, either.
Greg Greeley, former head of Amazon Prime, moved to Airbnb to become President of Homes after his own nearly two-decade stint with the Jeff Bezos-led commerce king. Greeley helped invent and launch the now-ubiquitous Prime service in 2005, moving to head up the unit after a time atop the international unit.
The departure of another executive after the company endures its harshest losses in years could prove problematic, especially amidst a market skittish about high-flying FAANG stocks like Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) -- and, of course, Amazon.
For now, Cyber Monday Sales anticipation is taking center stage, outshining any cloud the departure might cast on the stock.
For more on how to play Amazon stock as the holiday season kicks off, check out Real Money's Stock of the Day coverage for all the necessary investing information.
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