Ahead of Airbnb’s expected initial public offering sometime within the next two years, the accommodation rental business has brought on a new chief technology officer. Aristotle Balogh, formerly Google’s VP of engineering, application storage, indexing and serving, is starting at Airbnb in mid-November.
Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk previously served as the company’s CTO up until January 2017, when he became chief strategy officer. Since then, Airbnb VP of Engineering Michael Curtis was tasked with overseeing all technical responsibilities. Now, with Balogh, whom Curtis helped select to serve as CTO, on board, Curtis is leaving the company.
“Ari stood out as someone driven by mission and values, and as a passionate technologist,” Curtis said in a statement. “We’ve worked together in the past and I’ve seen his leadership in action. He’ll bring great experience and perspective to Airbnb.”
Curtis has been thinking about leaving Airbnb for some time so that “he could focus on his family and other projects of interest,” Airbnb spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt told TechCrunch via email. “After discussing this change with Brian Chesky, they agreed that Mike would step down after helping the company choose his successor. ”
In Balogh’s new role at Airbnb, Balogh will report to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and be tasked with leading infrastructure, information security, IT, engineering for payments, trust and community support.
“I’m thrilled Ari is joining Airbnb as our CTO,” Chesky said in a statement. “He has a strong vision for keeping our community at the center of everything we do and every technical decision we make, and an incredible track record of developing leaders and nurturing an inclusive culture.”
Earlier this year, Airbnb had an executive shakeup with its Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi leaving the company, following some reported tension between Chesky and Tosi over the future of the company. Around the same time, Airbnb promoted Belinda Johnson, its former chief business affairs and legal officer, to the role of chief operating officer.