Airbnb has announced the appointment of a new head for its business in South America as part of a move to identify new business opportunities and boost communities across markets in the region.
The new incumbent is Fiamma Zarife, who started on the role on Monday (6). Zarife joins from Twitter, where she acted as director-general for Latin America. Under her new role, the Brazilian executive will be reporting to Jordi Torres, Airbnb’s regional director for the Americas.
According to the company, Zarife’s main goal will be to boost local guest and host numbers and evolve the markets for the short-stay and experiences platform across the region. She takes over the role previously held by Leonardo Tristão, who left Airbnb in 2022 after seven years.
“I am arriving with plenty of motivation to continue, in partnership with the teams in South America, the work of constantly improving the experience of our hosts and guests and boosting tourist activity in the region in a sustainable way and focusing on the redistribution of tourism to support the local communities”, Zarife said in a statement. The executive is personally close to the platform, having been recognized as a “superhost” – someone who rents out spaces on Airbnb and gets consistently good reviews and gust experiences.
With an advertising and marketing background, Zarife has a 25-year career spanning across various industry sectors, which started at state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras. She then moved to the technology space, having worked at Samsung, as well as telecommunications firms such as Claro and Oi.
In 2015, Zarife joined Twitter to develop the company’s commercial strategy in the country and, in 2017, became the managing director for the Brazilian business. Last year, she was promoted once again, and took on responsibility for Twitter’s operations in Latin America – and practically turned off the lights, as the vast majority of the local employees were dismissed after Elon Musk’s takeover last November. Twitter no longer has a country manager for Brazil; the small team currently in place mainly consists of sales-related roles.