Anyone who has followed Chris Lehane’s career of brass-knuckle political fights shouldn’t be surprised to learn he spent plenty of time in the boxing ring growing up. Mr. Lehane, a former Bill Clinton adviser who now leads Airbnb’s global policy and communications, said if he was a tourist trying out his company’s new trip “experiences” product, he would most enjoy heading to a boxing gym in Detroit.
Mr. Lehane has shifted Airbnb into self-defense mode after the company was sucker-punched over the past year by lawmakers cracking down on its operations in New York, San Francisco, Berlin and Barcelona. It’s now making compromises. Last week Airbnb announced it would comply with San Francisco authorities’ demands for more stringent policing of hosts there. In New York, it’s also trying to reach a compromise after getting hit with a state law that would fine people up to $7,500 for putting their homes up for short-term stays.