Airbnb’s Organizational Structure

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Airbnb was founded in August 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The idea originated from the founders’ need to pay rent, leading them to rent out air mattresses in their living room, hence the name “AirBed & Breakfast.” Based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb has revolutionized the way people travel, offering a unique alternative to traditional hotel accommodations by allowing individuals to rent out their private spaces to travelers.

In 15 years, Airbnb has grown into a global hospitality giant, hosting millions of listings in over 220+ countries and regions. Airbnb’s platform not only includes homes and apartments but also offers unique stays like castles, treehouses, and igloos, catering to diverse traveler tastes.

Airbnb has been instrumental in promoting sustainable tourism and local economies. By encouraging travelers to stay in local neighborhoods, Airbnb helps distribute tourist spending to smaller businesses and less-visited areas. The company has also ventured into “Experiences,” allowing locals to host activities or tours, further immersing travelers in the local culture. 

Airbnb’s Executive Management

Airbnb’s day-to-day operations are overseen by the company’s Executive Management team, which is led by the CEO. 

The CEO is supported in their role by several key figures who have responsibility for overseeing parts of Airbnb’s functional operations on a global scale and includes people who hold roles such as the Global Head of Operations and Global Head of Hosting.

Airbnb's Organizational Structure Chart

Airbnb’s Board of Directors plays a critical role in the overall governance and strategic direction of the company.

The Board is responsible for ensuring that the company adheres to legal and ethical standards and follows best practices in corporate governance. This includes overseeing financial reporting, compliance with laws and regulations, and ensuring the company’s activities align with the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Airbnb's Board of Directors Chart

Airbnb’s Organizational Structure

Airbnb’s organizational structure, like many tech companies, has evolved over time to support its growth and the changing dynamics of its market. Although specific details of Airbnb’s structure aren’t known, it’s easy to hypothesize how it might look. 

Traditional companies often use a hierarchical structure where each employee reports to a single manager, and there’s a clear chain of command from top to bottom. However, while Airbnb might have elements of hierarchy in its structure, as do most organizations, it’s unlikely to be strictly hierarchical; tech companies often favor more flexibility to foster innovation and adaptability by adopting matrix and functional org structures. 

In a matrix structure, employees report to multiple managers – typically one functional manager and one project or product manager. This structure is common in organizations that run multiple projects simultaneously, requiring employees to collaborate across different teams. Given Airbnb’s diverse range of projects and services, from its core home rental business to experiences and adventures, it’s plausible that they may use some form of matrix structure to facilitate cross-functional collaboration.

Meanwhile, functional structures organize a company based on specialized functions, such as marketing, finance, HR, and IT. In Airbnb’s case, while there might be functional departments, the nature of their business – which integrates technology, hospitality, and customer service – suggests a more integrated approach than a purely functional structure would offer.

In practice, Airbnb’s organizational structure is likely a hybrid, combining elements of these different models to suit their specific needs. This approach allows them to maintain flexibility, foster innovation, and adapt quickly to changes in the market and technology. As with many tech companies, the key is balancing structure with agility to respond to the dynamic environment in which they operate.

Want to learn more about functional and other organizational structures and their role in the business world? Here are some helpful blog resources that you can get started with:

Create this chart in Organimi! 

You can download the CSV file of Airbnb’s org structure, import it into Organimi and start editing this chart right away! Here’s how:

  1.  From your dashboard, select Data Import.
  2.  Click the CSV tile.
  3.  Click +Upload Your File.   
  4. Select an Excel file from your device.
  5.  In the Organization field, click the down arrow to select an organization.
  6. Click Create a New Chart
  7. Click Next and select: Organization Chart
  8. Select the auto-build tool to automatically build your chart.
  9. Voila!

Download CSV file:
Airbnb (3.46 KB)

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