Airbnb’s Chief Multitasker on Sharing the C-Suite

Photograph by Benjamin Rasmussen for Fortune

AGE: 49

FROM: Houston

CLOSE QUARTERS: When Airbnb’s chief business affairs and legal officer Belinda Johnson joined the home-rental company in 2011 as general counsel, it was still small enough that everyone ate lunch together.

HAMMER HOME: As Airbnb has grown—it hit the 100-million-guest milestone this ­summer—so have the forces that oppose it. Johnson oversees the strategy to push back and find resolutions. “Every challenge that comes up is just a problem that needs a solution,” she says.

GIMME SHELTER: In the past year Johnson hired political strategist Chris Lehane to mobilize Airbnb’s host community and laid the groundwork for its lawsuit against San Francisco (objecting to changes to the city’s short-term-rental laws).

WAR ROOM: Johnson learned leadership lessons from her father-in-law, former Dallas Cowboys football coach Jimmy Johnson. “He wasn’t afraid to take risks,” she says, noting his controversial trade of star running back Herschel Walker for players and draft picks. “It ended up being an amazingly brilliant way to rebuild the team.”

For more on Airbnb and Belinda Johnson, watch this video:

A version of this article appears in the September 15, 2016 issue of Fortune with the headline “Tech—Person of Interest: Belinda Johnson, Airbnb.”

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