Four days ago, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky let employees know that Hong Ge, the company’s VP of China, who’d taken on the role just four months ago, is leaving the company to pursue opportunities outside of Airbnb.
Hong Ge, who previously worked for Google Inc and Facebook Inc, left to pursue another role and the firm is yet to name a successor, said Airbnb in a short statement on Tuesday.
Now, its said that Ronnie Gurion — whose LinkedIn profile states that he has been leading Airbnb’s international business development efforts since April of last year — quietly stepped down in July to accept the role of chief strategy officer at the competing vacation rental platform HomeAway.
Asked about the move, Gurion declined to comment. Asked for more information, an Airbnb spokesperson also declined to comment for this story but, at our request, sent us some of the company’s most recent metrics regarding its international reach.
Before joining Airbnb, Gurion spent six years with Orbitz, including as president of its “partner network and media solutions.” Earlier in his career, he also spent three years in a director-level role with the travel giant Expedia (which acquired HomeAway in 2015 for $3.9 billion).
Airbnb, which employed 3,100 employees altogether as of May, was reportedly valued at $31 billion as of March of this year, when it closed on $1 billion to expand geographically, as well as enter into the business of travel tours and luxury rentals. At the time, a source told the FT that Airbnb turned profitable before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization last year, and that Airbnb expects to be profitable again for the full year this year.
Of course, like any “unicorn” company, Airbnb needs to maintain its growth in order to win over public market investors, who are turning bearish fast on tech companies that disappoint.