Joe Zadeh [Credit: Airbnb]

Zadeh steps down as head of Experiences at Airbnb

Worldwide: Joe Zadeh is to step down as the head of its Experiences division, having led it since it launched three years ago.

Zadeh, a long-term employee of the company, will leave his position pending the appointment of a successor, according to Airbnb. It is not yet clear what new role he will take up within the organisation.

In a statement, Airbnb told Skift: “We are designing the policies and procedures that will help ensure we are a 21st century company that balances the interests of all stakeholders. 

“To do this work, we need a leader who will ensure our mission and values are built into everything we do. Joe has been here since the beginning, and there is no one better suited to take on this task,” it added.

Having launched Experiences in 2016 under Zadeh’s leadership, Airbnb has seen the division grow substantially with 40,000 activities in more than a thousand locations around the world now existing within the category. The firm says Experiences is designed to provide unique ‘outings’ or experiences to both guests and locals to make them feel better immersed within communities.

In the past month, it has also launched its Animal Experiences category and Record Holders Collection for its Experiences offering.

Though the Experiences division is reportedly still making losses, one source told Skift that Airbnb envisages it reaching profitability as its overall business matures.

This may come in the form of diversification across the business to become an all-encompassing online travel portal for travellers, especially at a crucial juncture as this as Airbnb gears up for a supposed direct listing.

On top of its short-term rental core business, Airbnb is already venturing into the hotel sector and into master lease projects [such as at New York’s Rockefeller Center]. It is also rumoured to be weighing up expanding into flights.

Digital media publication The Information has reported that Airbnb generated up to $18 million from Experiences in 2018 up to September, while the company itself said it brought in over $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year.

For more information, visit the Airbnb Experiences website here.

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