Airbnb appoints ethics director and strengthens legal team

United States: Airbnb has appointed Peter Urias, Deputy General Counsel, as Chief Ethics Officer and has strengthened its legal team.

Urias, who worked on the home-sharing platform for four years, succeeds Robert Chesnut, who left Airbnb as part of the 25% global downsizing, and the former associate general counsel for policy and compliance, Kevin Heneghan. , who left earlier this year. Urias then took the post himself on an interim basis, but was promoted to deputy general counsel this month.

During his time at Airbnb, Urias is said to have advised the company in its acquisition in 2019 of the hotel reservation service HotelTonight, assisted its Pro Host, Luxe and Long-Term Stays activities, and played a key role in a diversity plan aimed at increase the representation of minority groups in Airbnb’s workforce.

Other notable departures include Tanja de Coster, associate general counsel for global litigation; Julie Wenah, Senior Community Advisor and Interim Regional Advisor for Africa; Robert Studley, senior advocate for community trust; and Deputy General Counsel Derek Smith.

On the other hand, Airbnb strengthened its legal, compliance, safety and security teams in 2021 with the hiring of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner, John Polito, as associate general counsel for global risks and regulation; corporate lawyer Alison Bloch; Blake McKenzie Senior Partner Juliana Marques as Senior Director for Taxation; Julienne Chang, Senior Privacy Advisor; and Courtney Shike as an advisor for stakeholder initiatives.

Since its initial public offering via an initial public offering [IPO] last December, Airbnb sought to elevate a reputation that some of its detractors believed had been tarnished by conflicts in cities like Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam and Paris, where the company was accused of having taken away the stock of housing available to local residents. and hosts are said to have broken laws and disrupted neighborhoods at large gatherings and parties.

Then, in June, Bloomberg found out how Airbnb had spent around $ 50 million a year to keep serious incidents in its short-term rentals from leaking to the press through the use of a ‘black box’ team. . It has been reported that money has been given to hosts and guests so that they do not imply “any liability or liability” on Airbnb.

Airbnb’s legal team is currently led by Chief Legal Officer Richard Baer, ​​who joined the firm two years ago.

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