Air B&B Close To Hiring New CFO

AIRAirbnb Inc. is close to hiring Blackstone Group LP?s Laurence Tosi as chief financial officer of the home-sharing startup, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Hiring executives from publicly traded companies is often a precursor to an initial public offering for Silicon Valley startups. Airbnb in June was in talks to raise another round of financing at a $24 billion valuation. The company is projecting revenue of $900 million this year, up from $250 million in 2013.

Silicon Valley is also increasingly attracting talent from Wall Street. Ruth Porat in May joined Google Inc. as CFO from Morgan Stanley, where she had the same role. Anthony Noto, Twitter Inc.?s finance chief, joined the company last year from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he co-led telecommunications, media and technology investment banking.

Airbnb hasn?t had a CFO since Andrew Swain left the San Francisco-based company last year. Representatives for Airbnb and New York-based Blackstone declined to comment. Tosi didn?t return telephone calls for comment.

Tosi, 47, has been CFO of Blackstone since 2008. Since then, the world?s biggest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds has doubled assets under management to $333 billion from $119 billion.

The firm paid Tosi $15 million last year in salary, bonus, stock awards and a cut of profits, according to Blackstone?s annual report.?

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