Chris Lehane, who once served as the adviser for former US President Bill Clinton, has a new job.
At Airbnb he’ll likely be working inside Airbnb’s policy department to make sure Airbnb operates legally around the world. According to the New York Times, Lehane is a “pugnacious political adversary” who defends clients by going into “warrior mode” — qualities that may serve him well as Airbnb confronts regulatory adversaries over taxes and lodging laws.
For example, New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman deemed nearly three-quarters of Airbnb rentals in New York City illegal, and the company had to remove about 2,000 listings.
“I am committed to playing to win when it comes to standing up and fighting for the rights of everyday people to share their homes,” Lehane told the New York Times Thursday.
Besides working for the Clinton administration, Lehane also worked as Al Gore’s press secretary leading up to the 2000 election.
He’d previously worked for Airbnb as a consultant, according to Belinda Johnson, Airbnb’s chief business affairs and legal officer.
Airbnb is far from the only tech company hiring up politicos. Last year, Uber famously hired former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. Plouffe works on Uber’s policy and strategy division, and he has been responsible for making sure Uber clears every regulatory hurdle in its path so it can operate in cities around the world.
The company later hired Rachel Whetstone, a longtime Googler who served as senior vice president of communications and policy there, to replace Plouffe, who now serves as the company’s chief adviser. And earlier this year, former Obama press secretary Jay Carney joined Amazon as senior vice president for corporate global affairs.
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