Airbnb
Fiamma Zarife [Credit: Airbnb]

Airbnb hires Zarife to lead strategy in South America

South America: Airbnb has announced the hiring of Fiamma Zarife as its new general manager for South America to lead the company’s strategy in the continent.

Zarife joins from Twitter, where she held several roles including country manager for Brazil and general manager for LatAm.

In her new role, Zarife will be tasked with identifying new business opportunities and boosting host and guest numbers across the region. She will report to Jordi Torres, Airbnb’s regional director for the Americas, and replaces previous incumbent Leonardo Tristão, who departed last year after a seven-year stint at the company.

Zarife told Forbes: “I am arriving with plenty of motivation to continue, in partnership with the teams in South America, the work of constantly improving the experience of our hosts and guests and boosting tourist activity in the region in a sustainable way and focusing on the redistribution of tourism to support the local communities. The executive is personally close to the platform, having been recognised as a ‘Superhost’ – someone who rents out spaces on Airbnb and gets consistently good reviews and gust experiences.”

With a background in advertising and marketing and a 25-year career spanning various industry sectors, Zarife started out working at Brazilian oil and gas corporation Petrobras, before moving into the technology space with Samsung and telecommunications firms such as Claro and Oi.

News of the appointment emerged after Airbnb announced last week that it was laying off around 30 per cent of its recruitment staff [around 30 employees], accounting for roughly 0.4 per cent of the company’s overall team.

An Airbnb spokesperson said that the layoffs had been necessary to mirror the rate at which the company expects to hire new staff  in other departments this year. Despite this, and following an 11 per cent growth in its workforce last year, Airbnb aims to grow its overall employee base in the year ahead by a range of two to four per cent.

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