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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Amazon exec Dave Stephenson tapped to lead Airbnb to the public markets

Airbnb has completed a much-needed hire ahead of its rumored 2019 initial public offering.

The hospitality giant has brought on Dave Stephenson, a long-time Amazon vice president and former president of Big Fish Games, as its chief financial officer. Stephenson replaces the company’s head of global financial planning and analysis, Ellie Mertz, who served as interim head of finance as Airbnb searched for its former CFO Laurence Tosi’s replacement.

Tosi, who had previously led finance at The Blackstone Group, left Airbnb in February to focus on his investment firm, Weston Capital Partners, amid a report from The Information that he and Airbnb co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky had disagreed over “how to balance the financial stability needed to go public.” The Wall Street veteran was focused on financial discipline, while Chesky wanted to invest in innovation and “areas that might not yield profits for a while.”

Tosi was credited with leading the company to profitability quicker than many of its fellow technology ‘unicorns.’ Airbnb says it’s profitable on an EBITDA basis and cash flow positive with a $5.5 billion balance sheet. It reportedly recorded upwards of $3 billion in revenue in 2017.

Stephenson joined Amazon in 1999 and ended his tenure at the e-commerce powerhouse as the vice president and CFO of its worldwide consumer business. He left Amazon for a brief stint between 2011 and 2013 to head up the Seattle-based game developer Big Fish Games.

“In the years ahead, [Stephenson] will be Airbnb’s quarterback for long-term growth, driving us to be even more efficient and leverage what makes Airbnb unique to create new businesses and continue to expand,” Chesky wrote in a blog post this morning.

Stephenson is the second Amazon executive to jump ship to San Francisco-based Airbnb this year. He follows Amazon’s former VP of prime & delivery experience Greg Greeley, who was hired as the home-sharing company’s president of homes in March. Greeley similarly spent nearly two decades under Jeff Bezos and was credited with helping build Amazon Prime, as well as Amazon’s European business.

The well-funded company now employs more than 4,000 and boasts a $31 billion valuation — making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world. Since it was founded by Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008, it’s raised $4.4 billion in venture capital funding, most recently securing a $1 billion Series F from Capital G, TCV, Temasek, Bracket Capital and others.

Airbnb is expected to bring liquidity to its investors via a highly-anticipated IPO as soon as June 30, 2019. It will likely chase Uber to the public markets, giving 2019 two of the largest IPOs of the decade.

Uber, in a similar fashion, recently hired a CFO, too — a role crucial for any company eyeing an IPO. The ride-hailing businesses’ choice was Nelson J. Chai, the former CEO of insurance and warranty provider Warranty Group.


Source: TechCrunch

Inside the Lab Training Genome Surgeons to Fight Disease

At the Gladstone Institutes, Crispr pioneer Jennifer Doudna is trying to make genome editing a routine procedure.
Source: Wired

Bentley’s Continental GT Convertible Offers a Tweed Roof

Along with excessive engineering and swank interiors, the new convertible has an endless list of options.
Source: Wired

Grab a MacBook for under $800 during the Jet Cyber Monday sale

Jet is offering some great discounts on MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros right now for their Cyber Monday sale. If you’re looking to snag a new Apple laptop during the November deals madness, now is the time.

The post Grab a MacBook for under $800 during the Jet Cyber Monday sale appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Apple cuts iPhone XR price in Japan – CNET

The country’s biggest carrier has reportedly slashed the price under contract.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018 streamer deals: $25 Fire TV, $20 Roku, and Chromecast and more available now – CNET

It’s never been cheaper to get Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN and more to your TV. Here are the best Cyber Monday discounts on our favorite streamers, all of which are available now.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018 Best Buy deals: $25 Google Home Mini, $300 off Galaxy S9, iPhone XS and more – CNET

Cyber Monday sales have started over at Best Buy.
Source: CNET

California Fires: We Know How to Keep Cities From Burning

We stopped American cities from burning once, and we can do it again. But it’ll take a massive shift in behavior statewide.
Source: Wired

Hospital in China denies links to world’s first gene-edited babies

News of the world’s first ever gene-edited human babies being born in China caused a huge stir on Monday after the MIT Technology Review and the Associated Press brought the project to light. People in and outside China rushed to question the ethical implications of the scientific breakthrough, reportedly the fruit of a Chinese researcher named He Jiankui from a university in Shenzhen.

There’s another twist to the story.

According to the AP, He had sought and received approval from Shenzhen HarMoniCare Women’s and Children’s Hospital to kick off the experiment. The MIT Technology Review’s report also linked to documents stating that He’s research received the green light from HarMoniCare’s medical ethics committee.

When contacted by TechCrunch, however, a HarMoniCare spokesperson said she was not aware of He’s genetic test and that the hospital is probing the validity of the circulated documents. TechCrunch will update when the case makes progress.

“What we can say for sure is that the gene editing process did not take place at our hospital. The babies were not born here either,” the spokesperson said of He’s project.

He, who studied at Rice and Stanford Universities, led a research team at Southern University of Science and Technology which set out to eliminate the gene associated with HIV, smallpox, and cholera by utilizing the CRISPR gene-editing tool, according to the MIT Technology Review. The technology is ethically fraught because changes to the embryo will pass on to future generations. He’s daring initiative is set to cause debate at the upcoming Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, which he will attend.

It’s also noteworthy that HarMoniCare belongs to the vast Putian network, a fold of 8,000 private healthcare providers originated from Putian, Fujian province. That’s according to a list compiled by DXY.cn, a Chinese online community for healthcare professionals. Putian hospitals expanded across China quickly over the years with little government oversight until the death of a college student. In 2016, 21-year-old Wei Zexi died of cancer after receiving dubious treatment from a Putian hospital. The incident also provoked a public outcry over China’s largest search engine Baidu, which counted Putian hospitals as a major online advertiser.


Source: TechCrunch

Cyber Monday Special: Buy a pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018 and snag a $200 gift

Disrupt Berlin 2018 kicks off in just three days, the holidays are upon us, and we here at TechCrunch are feelin’ the season. What better way to celebrate both events than to share the spirit of entrepreneurism and gift-giving with a Cyber Monday special.

Today — and today only — when you buy any pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018 (excluding student and government passes) you’ll get to select a gift (up to a $200 USD value not including tax or shipping) from the TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide. It’s our annual, curated list of all the really good stuff.

Whatever puts you in the holiday mood, we’ve got you covered. STEM gifts for the kids, podcast tools, something for the frequent flyer in your life or maybe a little tchotchke just for you (we won’t tell).

Gifts are great — especially the $200 variety. But the coolest gift you can give yourself this year is a ticket to Disrupt Berlin 2018. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

It’s the gift of opportunity — network and connect with founders, investors, developers and more — every stripe of tech enthusiast imaginable. Find future partners and customers. Explore hundreds of early-stage companies exhibiting in Startup Alley, hear from top tech and investment leaders, enjoy the thrill ride that is Startup Battlefield.

No matter where you roam or who you want to meet at Disrupt Berlin, we’ve made networking easier than ever by making our free business match-matching service, CrunchMatch, available to all attendees.

Go buy your pass to Disrupt Berlin 2018, and then we’ll be in touch the week of 3 December to coordinate your something sweet from our awesome gift guide. We can’t wait to see you in Berlin!


Source: TechCrunch

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