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Hilton's CEO says he's not out to take on Airbnb

4 months ago by Jon Marino in Investor Profile, Startups
Hilton Hotel CEO Chris Nassetta

Every night when he thinks about Airbnb, he cries, Hilton ($NYSE:HLT) CEO Chris Nassetta admitted at the Skift Global Forum in New York. 

But, he's just kidding. Nassetta, in response to a question about how "well he sleeps" with digital disruptors targeting Hilton's business model, said his rest is "like a baby" - in that he wakes up every few hours to cry. In reality, though, he says he's not sweating it - and that Hilton, through its research and focus groups, has decided that the market will not be welcoming of a competing product to Airbnb. That doesn't mean Hilton isn't going digital, however. And when it does go digital - it's not acting like a 100 year-old company, either.

And according to some key data trends, Hilton beating Airbnb in some critical areas. 

Hilton's Apple App Store Rating Count for its Hilton Honors App have cracked the 800,000 mark - while Airbnb (not shown) hasn't yet cracked 500,000. We can also track the ratings applied to each app (not shown) - and the companies are neck-and-neck. Right now, it looks like Hilton has build a slight digtial advantage for itself over its competitor. 

"We are innovating more than we ever have," Nassetta said - promising new tech offerings in the near future. 

Hilton is almost hiring more than it ever has, as well. Job postings - the chart above - has seen an increase of nearly 15% so far in 2019. That, comes as Hilton has earned accolades and high marks from staff and from outsiders for the way it manages itself. 

Finally - one of the things Nassetta was most eager to highlight - is Hilton's current standing (#1) on Fortune's 2019 Best Places to Work List. He emphasized culture in his talk - and like so many of the Silicon Valley companies Thinknum Alternative Data covered in our special report - is backing it up with his actions. The company recently announced plans to expand its leave time for new parents (something common of gender-diverse tech companies) and it's showing up in places like Hilton's anonymous staff reviews, which ranks Hilton highly (more than 4 out of 5). 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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