Four Early Employees Have Left Airbnb, Including Its Lead Engineer

Nick Grandy, Airbnb's first employee

Folks at Airbnb are talking about how some of their longest-tenured colleagues are leaving—including Nick Grandy, Airbnb’s very first employee.

Two sources have confirmed Grandy’s departure, though his LinkedIn profile still has him at Airbnb. He’d only been there two years.

We don’t know Grandy’s future plans, but we notice that he had a burst of activity on AngelList, the startup-investing discussion board, in the past month. He’s an angel investor in Chart.io.

Ligaya Tichy, formerly Airbnb’s global head of community, left this month for Threadflip. She joined in September 2010.

Michael Schaecher, a marketing manager, joined in August 2010 and left this May.

TaskRabbit recently hired Jabu Dayton, who left in June as Airbnb’s head of HR. (You can spot Dayton chilling in our photo tour of Airbnb’s crazy-cool office.) TaskRabbit confirmed Dayton’s hire to Business Insider.

Airbnb did not respond to an email and text message asking for comment.

It’s not unusual for the kind of risk-takers who thrive in a startup’s early days to leave as the company’s headcount grows into the hundreds. Airbnb has just hit that hypergrowth stage especially quickly.

A year ago, Airbnb raised a staggering $112 million from Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, and General Catalyst Partners, and has since expanded worldwide at an astonishingly rapid pace. It just reported having booked 10 million nights in total.

But it’s never a good thing for a company to lose early employees, who are often key to maintaining a company’s culture.

It also makes you wonder about their evaluation of the company’s prospects—since early employees are typically granted attractive equity packages, and lose out on a considerable amount of that by not sticking around for the full vesting period. (At tech startups, that’s typically four years.)

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