Airbnb has hired longtime labour leader Alexandra Dagg to lead its Canadian public policy division, the on-demand rental company announced today.
For most Canadians, Dagg’s name will be familiar for its association with the National Hockey League’s Players Association (NHLPA). Prior to joining Airbnb, Dagg was director of operations at the organization. In that role, she represented the NHLPA’s interests during the 2012 lockout. Unlike the bitter 2004 lockout, which resulted in the NHL cancelling the entire 2004-2005 season, the 2012 lockout was relatively civil, with the season only being shortened to 48 games.
Now that she’s at Airbnb, Dagg’s new position is that of director of Canadian public policy. She will be responsible for improving the San Francisco-based company’s relationship with all levels of Canadian government, as well as small business owners and the more than 50,000 hosts who use the service across the country.
It’s a hiring that could lead to significant shifts in how the company operates in Canada.
According to The Globe and Mail, Dagg has already met with community leaders in Vancouver to discuss how professional Airbnb hosts — that is, the platform users who rent out multiple properties on a consistent basis — are affecting the city’s housing and rental markets. In the same article, Dagg said that the company is open to regulation.
“We’ve grown fast and made some mistakes along the way as we’ve learned how to deal with cities, but right from the beginning … we’ve wanted to be good community partners,” said Dagg in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “We want to be regulated, we want to be recognized, we want to talk through concerns.”