Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Airbnb snags Blackstone's CFO

Kaja Whitehouse, USAToday,  July 24, 2015

NEW YORK — Yet another financial executive is ditching "the street" for sunny Silicon Valley.

Hedge fund and private equity giant Blackstone said its CFO, Laurence Tosi, is resigning to work for San Francisco start-up Airbnb.

Tosi has been Blackstone's CFO since 2008, shortly after firm, which manages $333 billion in assets, started selling its shares to the public.

Tosi, who steps down on Aug. 7, will be replaced by Michael Chae, Blackstone's head of international private equity, Blackstone said.

The move comes as Airbnb finalizes a round of funding that is expected to value the startup at $25 billion — or greater than the value of many hotel chains, including the $20 billion Marriott International.

Only Hilton Worldwide, at $26.4 billion, remains larger than Airbnb.

A CFO with Wall Street connections and experience running a publicly traded company could help if it decides to sell its own shares on the public market.

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