Airbnb’s C-Suite Shuffle

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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at Airbnb’s new CFO, Selina’s restructuring, and how a merger between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian would play out.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, December 6. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Airbnb is shaking up its business team. It announced that CFO Dave Stephenson will become chief business officer, and VP of finance Ellie Mertz will become CFO. Catherine Powell, who became global head of hosting in July 2020, will be leaving the company. 

The change comes after analysts on Wall Street expressed concern about Airbnb’s forecast for  slower growth in room nights, writes Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. Stephenson will be in charge of expanding Airbnb’s core homes business, pushing international expansion, and expanding Airbnb’s host supply.

Next, hotel brand Selina is trying to avoid bankruptcy with a new restructuring plan and a capital injection of up to $50 million. a, writes Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neal. 

Financial crunches aren’t new for the brand geared toward younger travelers. Late last year, Selina went public in a SPAC deal that failed to bring in enough capital to fund its operations.

Selina may have a savior, writes O’Neal. In June, the brand arranged a promise of strategic investment led by Global University Systems, which runs for-profit universities. Selina has received over about $20 million in capital since then.

Finally, how profitable would a merger Alaska and Hawaiian play out? A merger between the two carriers could make them the fifth-or-sixth largest airline based on revenue, writes Skift airlines reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

In terms of profitability, Alaska-Hawaiian together is less profitable than Alaska by itself but significantly more profitable than Hawaiian, which has struggled since the pandemic. 

In 2017, Hawaiian reported the highest margins in the U.S. airline industry at 18.8%. But it has faced a number of issues in recent years, including the Maui wildfires and a sluggish recovery of the Japanese visitor market. 

The operating margin if the two merged would be 5.1%, putting it in the middle of major U.S. airlines, writes Maharishi.

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