Airbnb hires Blackstone CFO Tosi: Bloomberg

(Reuters) Airbnb Inc, the website where home owners rent out properties on a temporary basis, has hired Blackstone Group LP Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi to fill its own CFO vacancy, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources.

The San Francisco-based company, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups since it was founded five years ago by a trio of graduates, has so far snubbed an initial public offering in favor of ever-larger private fundraising rounds.

Tosi’s appointment, however, would better position the company to go public. The 47-year-old executive joined Blackstone in 2008, one year after the private equity firm went public. He would replace Andrew Swain, who left Airbnb last September.

Blackstone declined to comment on the Bloomberg report. Airbnb did not respond to a request for comment.

It is not the first time that Tosi has had an opportunity to work in Silicon Valley. Apple Inc reached out to him for the position of CFO in 2011, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters at the time.

Before joining Blackstone, Tosi was Chief Operating Officer of global markets and investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co. From 2004 through 2007, Tosi was Merrill’s principal accounting officer for global finance.

A graduate of Georgetown University, he was also global head of corporate development at Merrill from 1999 to 2007, where he managed many of the firm’s strategic acquisitions and investments. Before joining Merrill Lynch in 1999, he was director of business development for General Electric Co’s NBC division.