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Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky at an event in 2018. Photo by AP.

As Airbnb Ponders Timing of Listing, Stock Grants Impose Deadline

Photo: Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky at an event in 2018. Photo by AP.

In June 2018, CEO Brian Chesky assured employees that Airbnb would go public by 2020. What nobody could have foreseen then was that a viral pandemic would threaten to pulverize the travel industry and hurt Airbnb’s business just as it planned to introduce itself to public investors. 

While global economic disruption would typically justify postponing a public listing, Airbnb might not feel it has that option. That’s because an initial batch of restricted stock units granted to employees are set to expire by next year, and delaying a public debut could render the prized grants worthless. 

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