For the second edition of the United States Studies Centre's CEO-to-CEO Series, we brought together two of Australia's most prominent leaders in the sharing economy space.
Few companies have shaken up the business environment in Australia as US startups Airbnb and Uber. About one in six Australians aged over 18 have an Airbnb account, and there are more than 60,000 Uber drivers across the country and 3 million riders using the Uber app.
The event heard from Airbnb Country Manager (Australia & New Zealand) Sam McDonagh and Uber General Manager (Australia & New Zealand) David Rohrsheim, who appeared in conversation with USSC CEO Professor Simon Jackman. They looked at the future of peer-to-peer services domestically, trends in the US market, and the challenges and opportunities for the tech industry in Australia.
Professor Simon Jackman
Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.
Country Manager (Australia and New Zealand), Airbnb
Sam McDonagh is Airbnb's Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand. He has over 25 years experience in senior management roles across Australia, the United States and Asia, at companies including eBay (10 years, from start-up management team in Australia, Finance Director and New Ventures Category Manager in the US to Director of Southeast Asia) and iiNet as CMO. Prior to Airbnb, Sam was General Manager and advisor to US-based Dollar Shave Club’s Australian business.
General Manager (Australia and New Zealand), Uber
David Rohrsheim is Uber’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, leading a talented team of more than 200 across the region. In 2012, David brought Uber’s technology to the streets of Sydney as the founding member of the Australian team. Since then, he has helped expand the app across Australia and New Zealand. During his time at top tier Silicon Valley venture capital fund DJF, David helped scale more than 40 tech start-ups. He holds a B.Eng from his hometown Adelaide University, and an MBA from Stanford University.