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Airbnb UK boss reveals he's living in a host's property

Sam Shead | Feb. 12, 2015
The UK boss is overseeing a team of approximately 20 people for the San Francisco scale-up company.

The head of Airbnb's UK business has revealed that he's living living in an Airbnb-listed property in a trendy part of East London.

James McClure, general manager of Airbnb UK & Ireland, told today Techworld: "I'm staying in an Airbnb property up on Kingsland Road [Hackney]."

The Airbnb executive has been at the company for just two months, after working at Google for eight years in London, Singapore and Australia. While at Google, McClure was tasked with growing the search giant's business in emerging markets across South East Asia.

"I recently moved from Singapore so I'm in a bit of a transit," he said at Airbnb's UK headquarters in Shoreditch today.

While he's at Airbnb McClure wants to further improve the company's brand perception and increase usage among people in the UK and Ireland.

There are currently 33,000 properties listed on Airbnb in the UK & Ireland but McClure was unable to specify how much he wants to increase this number by.

The well-travelled businessman uses Airbnb when on the move for work purposes.

"Since Christmas I've spent every night in an Airbnb, whether it's London or San Francisco or Dublin," he said.

Airbnb properties range from £5 to £5,000 per night, according to McClure, who didn't provide any details on the London abode he's residing at.

The San Francisco firm is one of many digital companies looking to take advantage of the so-called sharing economy, along with the likes of Uber, Task Rabbit and Laundrapp.

But the UK government is currently reviewing how these sorts of companies should operate after hoteliers and landlords said Airbnb and its users are breaching well-established regulations.

Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap, a company similar to Airbnb, has been tasked with leading a report on the social and economic impact of companies tapping into the sharing economy.

 

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