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This profile was last updated on 7/21/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Chief Executive Officer

Airbnb
888 Brannan St
San Francisco, California 94103
United States

Company Description: Airbnb is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer traveling. We enable people to earn money by renting out extra space, and offer travelers a viable alternative to...   more
Background

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts , industrial design
    Rhode Island School of Design
  • BFA , industrial design
    Rhode Island School of Design
177 Total References
Web References
Airbnb CEO Brian ...
news.yahoo.com, 18 June 2014 [cached]
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky defends his company's safety policies and says he'll prevail against legal challenges from around the world
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Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky defends his company's safety policies and says he'll prevail against legal challenges from around the world.
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Brian Chesky shares his three most valuable tips for renting out your home.
Brian Chesky, ...
www.allamericanspeakers.com, 11 Jan 2014 [cached]
Brian Chesky, Airbnb
For the first time in centuries, ...
www.theatlantic.com, 29 June 2014 [cached]
For the first time in centuries, we're trusting our neighbors, Brian Chesky says.
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ASPEN, Colo.-Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, an online marketplace for people to rent out their homes in lieu of hotels or other accommodations, has a theory for how urban-living has progressed over the last several hundred years. The theory begins in pre-industrial villages, wends its way through the Machine Age, and arrives in cities where services like Airbnb are thriving.
"Cities used to be generally villages, and everyone was essentially kind of like an entrepreneur," he said at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is sponsored by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.
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This is "the Internet moving into your neighborhood," Chesky said.
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Chesky hopes these transformations will make us question the strange way we parcel out trust. "You trust people more than you trust anything in life-if you know them," he noted. "You'll trust your mother, your sister, your daughter, you'll trust your friends. You'll trust them more than big governments, big corporations. But a stranger-you'll trust less than anybody. Chesky's question: Why?
Chesky, of course, has an interest in emphasizing the benign and cascading consequences of the kind of trust his business depends on, especially since officials in cities like New York are now taking a hard look at whether to regulate Airbnb-and how to define, in the digital age, where the formal economy ends and the informal economy begins.
"We want to be regulated-because to regulate us would be to recognize us," Chesky said.
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What I find most interesting, though, is that Chesky sees village-like networks sprouting in cities at a time when urbanization is also going in the polar opposite direction.

In January, when Airbnb CEO ...
www.fastcompany.com, 11 June 2014 [cached]

In January, when Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky learned that Marriott International, one of the largest hotel groups in the world, planned to add 30,000 rooms to its property portfolio in the coming year, he defiantly boasted, "We will add that in the next 2 weeks."

The explosive growth of Airbnb, the online service which enables hosts to rent out their homes or spare bedrooms, highlights how much of a threat the startup has become to the traditional hotel companies, which are now trying to figure out ways to compete in the sharing economy.

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As we detailed in our profile of the company published this week, Chesky aims to transform Airbnb into a full-blown hospitality brand, one capable of providing a streamlined end-to-end experience for its travelers.
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"Our business isnt [renting] the house--our business is the entire trip," Chesky says. "There might be an opportunity to democratize a lot of the services that the Four Seasons provides. This injection of capital would give the company breathing room as it continues to expand its offerings.

What makes Airbnb especially appealing to investors is its low overhead. In the sharing economy, where any person can list his or her own property for rent online, Airbnb can lay claim to being the worlds largest hotel chain--without owning a single hotel. The company doesnt have to worry about the high turnover rates of bellhops and front desk clerks like hotels do, and it doesnt have to concern itself with real estate prices and franchise partnerships. "We dont pour concrete," Chesky says.

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From their perspective, its like, Wait a minute, you dont offer room service?"

Chesky, smartly, strikes a more diplomatic tone when challenged by folks like Solomons. He strongly disagrees with the "subtext that Airbnb and the hotel industry are going to war," and indicates hes friendly with a number of executives at the traditional hotel companies. He huddled with some of them while in Davos recently, and says, "I left those meetings imagining that I will be able to have a cordial relationship with some of the leaders of those companies.

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"I asked [CEO Brian Chesky], Why didnt you jump on it quicker?
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He and Chesky quickly set out to make sure the company was able to respond to complaints faster in the future.
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"We have a higher sense of responsibility around how our guests treat [a hosts] space than the hotels do."

To learn more about Airbnbs challenges competing with the hotel players, check out our profile of the company and its CEO Brian Chesky.

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Brian Chesky
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Word was that Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky had boiled down his strategic road map--all of Airbnbs secret plans for 2014--onto a single piece of paper.

Yet on an early evening in late January, I am sitting in a conference room at Airbnbs San Francisco headquarters across from Chesky and Chip ­Conley, Airbnbs recently ­appointed head of global hospitality, and Chesky is wondering aloud whether to show me the fabled ­document. Even as hes talking about it, I am still ­unsure whether Im being punked.

After a second of deliberation, Chesky pulls the trigger: He sends an employee to retrieve the sheet. He then slides it in front of me, as Conley, only half-joking, declares, "The infamous paper to take over the world!"

The 8.5-by-11-inch typewritten sheet highlights the companys four ­major goals for 2014, each with specific objectives, product features, target launch dates, and year-end milestones. I cant reveal them all here--Chesky will debut new initiatives sometime this summer.

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"When you have too many initiatives," Chesky likes to say, "its really hard to keep your focus."

Focus, of course, is whats required to take a roaring success like Airbnb and turn it into the kind of transformational company that can justify a $2.7Â billion valuation.

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For Airbnb to become the outfit Chesky aspires to create, it too will have to transform itself in a way that bears no resemblance to any other company in the world.

Chesky has decided that Airbnb will become nothing less than a full-blown hospitality brand, one that delivers a seamless end-to-end experience when its customers travel. "If you ask Brian now what drives Airbnbs growth, its not that people want to get a cheaper space," says Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, an early investor.

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But Brian has decided the growth is in hospitality."

"Im going to dinner with Chip," said Brian Chesky, above. "When I come back, hes going to be an employee."

Which brings us back to that sheet created by Chesky, Conley, and those 60 other Airbnb employees.

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"Our business isnt [renting] the house," Chesky says.
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Not for Chesky. "People went to Dell for the computers, but they go to Apple for everything," Chesky says. "Thats the difference between a transactional company and a transformational one. Theres a lot riding on that single sheet of paper.


Chesky gnaws his fingernails and drums his legs in meetings. The CEOs "endless energy" (everyone I spoke with referred to it in some fashion) is endlessly apparent. Since 2010, he has lived in Airbnbs at least part of each year. He sounds like a walking travel guide, rattling off details from his last half-dozen Airbnb excursions in the course of a conversation. He still rents out his couch to guests. "­Staying here [with Brian] is like having Zuck personally stalk your ex or asking Larry and Sergey tons of inane questions," reads one of his 85 glowing reviews.

For a long time, Cheskys relentlessness meant he was running the company like a rhinoceros: Point him in the right direction and hed put his head down and hammer out a solution.

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When a European Airbnb clone launched seemingly overnight with $90 million in funding, Chesky, with the benefit of advice from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and eBay chief John Donahoe, rapidly boosted Airbnbs international presence, opening a dozen offices overseas and expanding its service into 30 languages with reps in every global time zone.

Chesky did almost everything: design, product, legal, finance, marketing, communications, operations.

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When a European Airbnb clone launched seemingly overnight with $90 million in funding, Chesky, with the benefit of advice from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and eBay chief John Donahoe, rapidly boosted Airbnbs international presence, opening a dozen offices overseas and expanding its service into 30 languages with reps in every global time zone.

Chesky did almost everything: design, product, legal, finance, marketing, communications, operations.

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The story starts to sound a tad too neat when Chesky says there wasnt a specific lesson from the 500-page text that grabbed his imagination; rather it was the whole book that crystallized the simple idea that hospitality should be at the core of what his company provides. Airbnb would no longer be about where you stay, but what you do--and whom you do it with--while youre there.

In fact, Chesky had been thinking about Airbnb being more than just a place to find a room since 2012, when he commissioned a Pixar animator to storyboard the entire trip experience frame by frame. He called the project Snow White, after Disneys first feature-length film. The 30 slides now hang around Airbnbs product studio like the Stations of the Cross, each radiating empathy for each particular emotional moment in a trip: the guests arrival at the airport, her transportation, the first interaction with the host, and more. "When we critique our designs, we literally say, Which frame is this helping to improve? " says ­cofounder Gebbia, now the companys chief product officer. Snow White paid immediate dividends. Since it highlighted how much of the Airbnb experience happens on the go, the company quickly upgraded its mobile products. It also added new features like Verified ID, a system that removes anonymity and inspires more trust between guests and hosts.

Hospitality seemed like the right direction, but Chesky quickly understood that his management style had to change in order for the company to shift from handling one part of the trip--the room--to, hopefully, managing all parts. He knew he would have to go from managing a product to managing the company that manages the product. "The bigger the company gets, the higher leverage my moves have to be," Chesky says, comparing his struggles to a chess

Airbnb CEO finds room in Aspen ...
aspenjournalism.org, 30 June 2014 [cached]
Airbnb CEO finds room in Aspen through own website | Airbnb CEO finds room in Aspen through own website | Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, right, speaks with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, on Sunday, June 29. 2014 at the Aspen Ideas Festival. | Continue Reading → | Previous PostAirbnb CEO finds room in Aspen through own website
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Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, right, speaks with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, on Sunday, June 29. 2014 at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
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Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, right, speaks with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, on Sunday, June 29.
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ASPEN - Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky found a place to stay in Aspen Saturday night for about $100 by going on to the Airbnb website, which connects people who need a place to stay with people who have space to rent.
Via the website, Chesky contacted a ski instructor from Brazil named Eric who had listed a room for rent in Aspen as a registered Airbnb "host."
"He was super cool," Chesky said after an appearance Sunday at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "We hung out for an hour-and-a-half."
Chesky said Eric was an experienced Airbnb host, and is one of about 450 people in Aspen now renting out all or part of their homes here through Airbnb.
"I think we're an important part of his life now," said Chesky of Eric.
What Chesky did - contacting a host through Airbnb, letting the host vet him as a potential guest, and then showing up - is increasingly common around the world.
Tonight, 300,000 people in 192 countries will be renting a place to sleep through Airbnb, Chesky said Sunday.
And of the 600,000 people going to Brazil for the World Cup soccer tournament, 120,000 are finding places to stay through Airbnb, he noted.
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And Chesky, 32, is said by Forbes to be worth $1.5 billion. He started Airbnb with Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczykin in 2008 after renting space in their San Francisco apartment for people to sleep on air mattresses.
"The biggest misconception people have is that they think it's this little side thing," Chesky said of the emerging "sharing economy" now epitomized by companies such as Airbnb and the car-services Uber and Lyft. "Everyone said the same thing about the internet. In 1994, it was this little thing."
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, right, speaking with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution.
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Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, right, speaking with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution.
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"We want to be regulated, because to regulate us would be to recognize us," Chesky said Sunday during a pointed interview with Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution.
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Chesky responded by noting that the "neighbor issue" was not a problem for Eric's neighbors in Aspen.
"His neighbors know he is a host and they think he's awesome," Cheskey said. "And then I go to some places in New York, in a high rise, and they find out I'm the founder of Airbnb and a few people, well, they are polite New Yorkers."
Chesky said the company also regularly removes bad actors - either unpleasant guests or hosts that violate company policies - from its platform.
"We are not shy about removing people" from the Airbnb system, Chesky said.
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