Brian Chesky

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Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky Airbnb.jpg
Chesky in 2020
Brian Joseph Chesky

(1981-08-29) August 29, 1981 (age 40)
Alma materRhode Island School of Design (BFA)
OccupationCEO and co-founder, Airbnb

Brian Joseph Chesky (born August 29, 1981) is an American businessman and industrial designer. He is the co-founder and CEO of the peer-to-peer lodging service Airbnb. Chesky was named one of Time's "100 Most Influential People of 2015".[2]

Early life and education[]

Brian Chesky was born on August 29, 1981, in Niskayuna, New York, the son of Deborah and Robert H. Chesky;[3] His father is of Polish descent and his mother of Italian origin.[4] Chesky's parents were both social workers.[5][6] He has a younger sister, Allison.[7] As a child, Chesky was interested in art, drawing replicas of paintings, and design, redesigning shoes and toys.[7] He later became interested in landscape architecture and design.[8]

In 1999, Chesky started attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).[9] He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design in 2004.[10] During his time at RISD, Chesky met Joe Gebbia, who would later be one of the co-founders of Airbnb.[11]


After attending college, Chesky worked as an industrial designer and strategist at 3DID, Inc. in Los Angeles.[11] In 2007, he moved to San Francisco where he shared an apartment with Gebbia.[12] In October 2007, the Industrial Designers Society of America was hosting a conference in San Francisco and all hotel rooms were booked.[13][14] The pair could not afford rent for the month and decided to rent their apartment for money.[15] They purchased three air mattresses and marketed this idea as "Airbed and Breakfast", with three guests staying the first night.[16][17]

In February 2008, Harvard graduate and technical architect Nathan Blecharczyk became the third co-founder of Airbnb.[18] Each co-founder assumed a role within the new company, with Chesky becoming the leader and chief executive officer.[7] To receive funding, Chesky and his co-founders created special-edition cereals called "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains", based on presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.[19] Impressed by the cereal boxes, Y Combinator accepted Airbnb into its seed funding program.[20] In its first year, the company began internationalizing and opened several offices in Europe.[21] In 2011, Chesky wrote a letter on behalf of the company for its handling of a resident complaint about tenant vandalism by announcing a 24-hour hotline, additional staff support and a guarantee for theft or vandalism.[22] In 2015, Chesky announced that Airbnb was an official sponsor of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He said that more than 120,000 people had stayed in Airbnb homes during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[23] As of December 2020, Airbnb went public at a $100 billion valuation.[2]

Chesky told Kara Swisher's Recode Decode podcast that he has a "standing regular checkin" phone call with former U.S. President Barack Obama.[24]


On June 11, 2016, Chesky joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates' 'The Giving Pledge', a group of billionaires who have committed to give the majority of their wealth away.[25]


In 2015, Chesky was included on the Forbes list of America's Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.[26] Chesky was recognized on Times magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2015.[2]

In May 2015, President Obama named Chesky an Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship.[27]

In 2016, he was also named in the Youngest Forbes 400 list.[28]

In 2018, Chesky was named the Bay Area Executive of the Year by Business Times.[29]

Personal life[]

Chesky is unmarried.[30] He was previously in a relationship with artist Elissa Patel.[30][31]


  1. ^ "#268 Brian Chesky". Forbes. January 27, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Ive, Jonathan (April 16, 2015). "Time 100 Pioneers: Brian Chesky". Time. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Harry Chesky Obituary". Times Union. Albany. October 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Stone, Brad (February 2, 2017). The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World. Transworld. ISBN 9781473527027.
  5. ^ Gallagher, Leigh (June 26, 2015). "The education of Airbnb's Brian Chesky". Fortune. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Cohen, Anne (April 16, 2015). "Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Schumer and Bibi Make Time 100 List". The Forward. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Gallagher, Leigh (July 1, 2015). "The education of Airbnb's Brian Chesky". Fortune.
  8. ^ Bryant, Adam (October 11, 2014). "Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on Scratching the Itch to Create". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Hartmans, Avery (July 22, 2017). "The fabulous life of Airbnb's Brian Chesky, one of the youngest and richest tech founders in America". Business Insider. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Brian Chesky | LinkedIn". LinkedIn. February 18, 2020. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Bryant, Adam (October 11, 2014). "Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on Scratching the Itch to Create". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "FOG Design+Art Announces Galleries Participating in Seventh Edition of Fair". Artsy. December 3, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Carr, Austin (March 17, 2014). "Inside Airbnb's Grand Hotel Plans". Fast Company. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  14. ^ Geron, Tomio (February 11, 2013). "Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy". Forbes. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (July 20, 2013). "Welcome to the 'Sharing Economy'". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Brown Ekiel, Erika. "The Entrepreneur QuestionnaireL Brian Chesky, Co-Founderv and CEO of Airbnb". Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  17. ^ Helm, Burt (December 2014). "Airbnb Is Inc.'s 2014 Company of the Year". Inc. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs". Bloomberg Business Week.
  19. ^ "Brian Chesky: Handcrafted". Masters of Scale.
  20. ^ Fairweather, Alistair. "Brian Chesky: The homeless entrepreneur". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  21. ^ Bradshaw, Tim. "Airbnb Moves "Aggressively" into Europe". Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  22. ^ "Sleazy Airbnb Is 'Very Sorry' For Wrecking Your Apartment". Gawker. Archived from the original on July 25, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  23. ^ Kashdan, Jason (April 22, 2015). "Airbnb CEO on global expansion and legal pushback". CBS News. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  24. ^ "Brian Chesky: These 9 weeks were the most stressful in Airbnb's history". Recode By Vox.
  25. ^ "Airbnb Cofounders Join Buffett and Gates' 'Giving Pledge'". Fortune. June 1, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  26. ^ "40 Under 40". Forbes. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  27. ^ Brayton, Jenna (May 11, 2015). "The White House Celebrates Entrepreneurs Around the World". Retrieved February 23, 2016 – via National Archives.
  28. ^ Vinton, Kate. "Brian Chesky - pg.9". Forbes. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "Brian Chesky grew Airbnb from three airbeds in a living room to the biggest force in hospitality. He's the 2018 Executive of the Year (Video)". American City Business Journals. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Hartmans, Avery; Leskin, Paige (December 10, 2020). "The rise of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, who got his start renting out air mattresses on his floor and is now headed toward a blockbuster IPO". Business Insider. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  31. ^ Ramamurthy, Prasad (March 23, 2017). "Meet the Airbnb CEO and his desi girlfriend on their first visit to India". Condé Nast Traveler. New Delhi. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
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