Airbnb's co-founder Joe Gebbia said on Thursday he is stepping down from his full-time operating role, more than a decade after founding the online marketplace for homestays.
Mr Gebbia said he aims to explore other projects but will continue serving on the board of Airbnb and of Airbnb.org, the company’s non-profit foundation.
He will also take on a new role as Airbnb's adviser, supporting other co-founders Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk on “the road map, future concepts and [Airbnb’s] creative culture”.
“After great consideration, I’ve decided to step back from my full-time operating role at Airbnb,” he said in a letter to employees.
“The primary reason for this transition is that this is the only company I’ve ever helped build, and my brain is bursting with more ideas to bring to the world.”
Mr Gebbia said he is stepping down to focus on being a father. He said he will also get involved in other projects including “a complementary product to Airbnb, documentary filmmaking and various philanthropic initiatives”.
Airbnb was founded when Mr Gebbia and Mr Chesky, his roommate and former schoolmate at the Rhode Island School of Design, hosted three guests at their San Francisco home in 2007. It has since grown to more than four million hosts who have welcomed more than a billion guest arrivals in almost every country around the globe.
As of March 31, there have been six million active Airbnb listings covering 100,000 cities and towns around the world.
In February, Airbnb said its 2021 bookings jumped 56 per cent annually to almost 301 million.
The San Francisco-based company, which went public in December 2020, does not own any real estate but acts as a broker, getting commission from each booking.
Originally called “AirBed & Breakfast”, the start-up joined the 2009 Y Combinator winter cohort that provided funding to fuel expansion.
In April 2020, it secured $2 billion in debt and equity from private equity firms including Silver Lake, Apollo Global Management and Sixth Street Partners to bolster its finances.
In April, Airbnb company said it will allow its employees to work from anywhere permanently, in a bid to further improve flexibility.