Airbnb Inc.’s Brian Chesky is trying to soothe the masses. The co-founder and chief executive officer of the home-sharing website told employees on Thursday that it will pay them cash bonuses and is aiming to hold an IPO before late 2020, when some employee stock grants expire.
The move is designed to calm growing frustration because the 10-year-old upstart has yet to pursue a public offering. Airbnb last allowed some employees to sell stock to new investors in 2016. The company says it will be ready to hold an IPO in June 2019, said a person familiar with the matter.
And during the company-wide meeting, Chesky stressed that Airbnb would take steps to go public by late 2020 at the latest, said a person in attendance. The meeting was reported previously by the website The Information.Airbnb’s founders and early employees have little financial incentive to push for an IPO. They have cashed in at least $350 million worth of equity, said people familiar with the matter.
In December, members of Airbnb’s board met with Michael Grimes, the head of global technology investment banking at Morgan Stanley, to present options for going public, said people close to the bank. In late January, Airbnb lost its chief financial officer, Laurence Tosi.