People, Travel

Airbnb Beefs Up Advisory Board With Former Mayors

Airbnb Beefs Up Advisory Board With Former MayorsAirbnb Beefs Up Advisory Board With Former Mayors

Airbnb is recruiting a set of former mayors to help the home-rental company navigate its ongoing challenges with regulators at the city level.

The company said on Friday it has formed an advisory council of four former mayors from Houston, Philadelphia, Rome and Adelaide, Australia. It hopes to add more mayors, especially from Asia, Latin America and other regions.

As Airbnb has expanded across the globe since its founding in 2008, its most ferocious fights have been with city governments, often over taxes and Airbnb’s effect on a region’s housing supply and prices.

“The ex-mayors on Airbnb’s advisory board will likely meet quarterly and receive compensation for their work,” said Christopher Nulty, a spokesman for the company.

Airbnb hired former US Attorney General Eric Holder as an adviser on Wednesday focusing on strengthening corporate policies around racism and other discrimination on the site.

They will “review Airbnb policies, provide feedback on upcoming Airbnb products and initiatives, and provide Airbnb with valuable insights gained from years leading some of the world’s greatest cities,” the company said in a statement.

As Airbnb builds up its defenses, the company faces pressure from a coordinated effort led by mayors in several cities around the world. Bloomberg reported last month that current mayors from Paris, New York, Seoul and other cities are working together to produce a rule book for dealing with Airbnb, ride-hailing app Uber and other technology tools shaping their economies.

Airbnb sued its hometown, San Francisco, last month in response to the recently passed city legislation requiring Airbnb to police who uses its site or face fines.