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Nov 28, 2023

Airbnb hires former Biden chief of staff as CLO

Ron Klain has held several high-profile roles at the White House

Airbnb has recruited Ron Klain as the company’s chief legal officer (CLO). He will start at Airbnb on January 1, 2024, and will report to CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky.

Klain is joining Airbnb from O’Melveny & Myers, where he is a partner in the law firm’s Washington, DC office. He previously held several senior White House roles. Between 2021 and 2023, he was chief of staff to President Joe Biden. He was chief of staff to then-vice president Biden between 2009 and 2011 and later co-ordinated former president Barack Obama’s ‘whole of government’ response to the Ebola crisis for both domestic and international matters.

Klain had earlier spent six years in the White House during the Clinton Administration, including as chief of staff to vice president Al Gore, before his first spell at O’Melveny & Myers. During his time in private practice he has represented numerous technology and marketplace companies in complex litigation. He has also been CLO at Revolution, the venture capital firm started by AOL founder Steve Case.

Chesky says in a statement: ‘Ron is both a big-picture strategic thinker and a highly skilled operator, and I’m thrilled he’ll be a close adviser. People have described Ron as one of the smartest people they’ve ever met, but more than his intelligence, he’s known for his excellent judgment and his big heart. He is the perfect addition to our team.’

Klain says in an announcement of the move: ‘I have always believed travel is such an important part of creating connection and cultural understanding, and I am honored to join Airbnb to further this important work. Airbnb has accomplished so much already, and I’m especially inspired by Brian’s vision for the company’s next chapter.’