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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

As they hope to weather the coronavirus crisis despite severe dips in business, Airbnb and Lyft have both made new hires focused on safety and community.

Driving the news: Airbnb announced yesterday it has hired AppleCare chief Tara Bunch as its new head of global operations, while Lyft recently brought on Jennifer Brandenburger as its first director of community safety. 

  • Bunch will oversee Airbnb's customer service, trust and safety, and payments, and will report to CEO Brian Chesky. She is taking over some of the responsibilities of former chief operating officer Belinda Johnson, who left late last year. 
  • Brandenburger, who spent several years at Lyft before a brief recent stint at Airbnb, will report to chief policy officer (and ex-Transportation secretary) Anthony Foxx. She will lead the company's new Safety Advisory Council and initially focus on COVID-19-related safety issues. 

Between the lines: The coronavirus pandemic has raised the stakes when it comes to making customers feel safe and comfortable. Sharing economy companies, such as Airbnb and Lyft, will have to find ways to convince customers their services are safe, while not imposing such severe standards on hosts and drivers that they abandon work.

Go deeper

Uber, Lyft win delay on court order forcing driver reclassification

Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

An appeals court in California granted Uber and Lyft a stay on an injunction that would have forced the companies to reclassify drivers as employees Friday morning.

Why it matters: The stay came just 12 hours before the companies planned to suspend their ride-hailing services across California rather than comply with the injunction. They're now free to continue with business as usual while the appeal process plays out.

The fight over turning gig workers into gig employees

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The gig economy model powering a number of key tech giants threatens to break down in California, in a battle that may spill out across the country over whether gig workers should be considered employees.

Why it matters: Treating gig companies' workers as employees would guarantee them benefits and other rights they don't necessarily get as independent contractors. But the prospect presents an existential threat to the firms' business models.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.