Brian Chesky is an American businessman and industrial designer. He is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, an online peer-to-peer hospitality service for listing, searching, and booking rental accommodations. Chesky was born on August 29, 1981, in Niskayuna, New York and is the son of Deborah and Robert Chesky, who both worked as social workers. Chesky has one sibling, a younger sister by the name of Allison.
Having developed an interest in drawing landscape architecture and design, Chesky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), starting in 1999 and graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design. It was at RISD where Chesky met future Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia.
After college, Chesky worked as an industrial designer and strategist at 3DID in Los Angeles, California. In 2007, he moved to San Francisco with his peer, Joe Gebbia, and they became roommates. In October of that year, Chesky and Gebbia decided to rent out space in their apartment during the Industrial Designers Society of America conference, when they discovered all hotels were booked and they were coming up short for that month's rent payment. So they purchased air mattresses and called the set up "Airbed and Breakfast." Chesky and Gebbia booked three guests on their first night.
In February of 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, a Harvard grad and engineer, became the third founder of Airbnb. Chesky became the CEO of the company, and the trio began working on ideas for funding. They developed special-edition cereal boxes that featured presidential candidates and nabbed the attention of Y Combinator, which accepted Airbnb into its W09 accelerator batch.
Within its first year of operation, Airbnb went international, opening several Europe-based offices. In 2011, Chesky announced a 24-hour hotline, with an additional guarantee for theft and damages for hosts, after a stream of complaints about vandalism occurred on rental properties. In 2015, Chesky announced that Airbnb was an official sponsor of the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Summer Olympics, after over 120,000 people stayed with Airbnb during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
As of December of 2020, Airbnb had a valuation of $100 billion. Chesky led the company through its IPO on December 9, 2020, at $68 per share. The stock more than doubled its first day on the open market, with shares costing approximately $146 each by the end of its first day of trading.
- Forbes list of America's Richest Entrepreneurs under 40—2015
- TIME's 100 Most Influential People—2015
- Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship, presented by President Barrack Obama—2015
- Youngest Forbes 400—2016
- Bay Area Executive of the Year, Business Times—2018
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