Former Apple Retail Head And Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts Joins Airbnb Board

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 20, 2019

Over the last three decades, Angela Ahrendts has worked in fashion. And Ahrendts’ most recent job was Senior Vice President of Apple Retail. Now Ahrendts has been added to the board of home rental giant Airbnb.

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Ahrendts had joined Apple from Burberry where she worked as CEO. And prior to Burberry, Ahrendts had executive roles at Fifth & Pacific Companies where she oversaw the merchandising of more than 20 brands including Lucky Brand Dungarees and the men’s retail business at Liz Claiborne.

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Ahrendts is now the third independent non-affiliated board member. And the timing of Ahrendts joining the board is interesting as Airbnb is preparing to go public next year.

As Airbnb prepares to go public, it has been acquiring a number of companies to expand beyond the home rental space. For example, it acquired HotelTonight in March 2019 and Denmark-based Gaest in January 2019. And last month, Airbnb led a $160 million investment round in Lyric and as much as $200 million in India-based OYO.

Through strategic investments and acquisitions, Airbnb is gearing up to become an end-to-end travel platform with home rentals, hotel booking, international travel, etc.

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Last year, Airbnb brought on former Disney and Pixar executive Ann Mather to join the board. And Mather was Airbnb’s first female on Airbnb’s board. And former American Express CEO Ken Chenault joined Airbnb’s board in January 2018. What Ahrendts brings to the table is decades of driving substantial global growth for multiple brands.

As of 2017, Airbnb had a valuation of $31 billion following a $1 billion round of funding. And as of January 2019, Airbnb was profitable for its second consecutive year on an EBITDA basis, according to TechCrunch.

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