Brian Chesky

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Brian Chesky
Chesky in 2021
Brian Joseph Chesky

(1981-08-29) August 29, 1981 (age 42)
EducationRhode Island School of Design (BFA)
Occupation(s)CEO and co-founder, Airbnb

Brian Joseph Chesky (born August 29, 1981) is an American businessman and industrial designer and the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. As of January 2024, Chesky is the 232nd richest person in the world according to Forbes, with a net worth of $9.4 billion,[1] mostly due to his ownership of 76 million shares of Airbnb.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

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 and his mother of Italian origin.[4] Chesky's parents were both social workers.[5][6] He has a younger sister, Allison.[5] As a child, Chesky was interested in art, drawing replicas of paintings, and design, redesigning shoes and toys.[5] He later became interested in landscape architecture and design.[7]

Chesky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), beginning in 1999,[8] and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in industrial design in 2004.[9] During his time at RISD, Chesky was influenced by the works of Charles Eames and Walt Disney.[10] He also met fellow student Joe Gebbia, who would later be one of the co-founders of Airbnb.[11] In his early 20s, he was also a hockey player and competitive bodybuilder.[8]


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][13]


In October 2007, the Industrial Designers Society of America was hosting a conference in San Francisco and all hotel rooms were booked.[14][15] The pair could not afford rent for the month and decided to rent their apartment for money.[16] They purchased three air mattresses and marketed this idea as "Airbed and Breakfast", with three guests staying the first night.[17][18]

Chesky became the leader and chief executive officer of Airbnb. 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][20][21][22] Impressed by the cereal boxes, computer programmer Paul Graham invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a 6% interest in the company.[23]

In December 2020, Airbnb became a public company via an initial public offering.[24]


In 2015, Chesky was included on the Forbes list of America's Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.[25] Chesky was recognized on the Time 100 for 2015.[24]

In May 2015, President Barack Obama named Chesky an Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship.[26]

In 2016, Chesky was also named in the Youngest Forbes 400 list.[27]

In 2018, Chesky was named the Bay Area Executive of the Year by American City Business Journals.[28]

In June 2022, Chesky was featured among the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Hospitality by the International Hospitality Institute.[29]

Personal life[edit]

In December 2022, Chesky listed his home in San Francisco's Mission District on Airbnb.[30][31]


On June 11, 2016, Chesky joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates' The Giving Pledge, a group of billionaires who have committed to giving the majority of their wealth away.[32]

In May 2022, Chesky donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation to launch a scholarship program for students pursuing careers in public service. The Voyager Scholarship aims to support students in their junior and senior year of college with up to $50,000 in financial aid, a $10,000 stipend, and free Airbnb housing to pursue a summer work-travel experience; a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years following graduation; an annual summit; and a network of mentors.[33]


  1. ^ "Brian Chesky". Forbes.
  2. ^ "Airbnb, Inc. 2022 Form 14-A Proxy Statement". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. April 21, 2023.
  3. ^ "Harry Chesky Obituary". Times Union. October 4, 2008 – via
  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. ^ a b c Gallagher, Leigh (June 26, 2015). "The education of Airbnb's Brian Chesky". Fortune.
  6. ^ Cohen, Anne (April 16, 2015). "Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Schumer and Bibi Make Time 100 List". The Forward.
  7. ^ Bryant, Adam (October 11, 2014). "Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on Scratching the Itch to Create". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ "Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky to Deliver Keynote Address at Rhode Island School of Design's 2017 Commencement" (Press release). Rhode Island School of Design. May 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Stone, Brad (2017). The Upstarts. Little, Brown and Company. pp. 213, 326. ISBN 978-0-316-38839-9.
  11. ^ a b Bryant, Adam (October 11, 2014). "Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on Scratching the Itch to Create". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "FOG Design+Art Announces Galleries Participating in Seventh Edition of Fair". Artsy. December 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "The low-key SF neighborhood where Airbnb and Instagram founders live". The San Francisco Standard. December 23, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  14. ^ Carr, Austin (March 17, 2014). "Inside Airbnb's Grand Hotel Plans". Fast Company.
  15. ^ Geron, Tomio (February 11, 2013). "Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy". Forbes.
  16. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (July 20, 2013). "Welcome to the 'Sharing Economy'". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Greylock Capital Management (February 28, 2014). "The Entrepreneur Questionnaire Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb". Medium. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
  18. ^ Helm, Burt (December 2014). "Airbnb Is Inc.'s 2014 Company of the Year". Inc.
  19. ^ Spors, Kelly (August 11, 2008). "The Business of Politics". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 21, 2017.
  20. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (July 7, 2011). "The New Start-Ups at Sun Valley". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Peng, Tina (March 24, 2010). "Where to get startup cash now". CNN. Archived from the original on August 1, 2022.
  22. ^ Malik, Om (February 22, 2011). "What Every Startup Can Learn From AirBnB". GigaOm. Archived from the original on September 28, 2022.
  23. ^ Fairweather, Alistair (March 12, 2013). "Brian Chesky: The homeless entrepreneur". Mail & Guardian.
  24. ^ a b Ive, Jonathan (April 16, 2015). "Time 100 Pioneers: Brian Chesky". Time.
  25. ^ Kroll, Luisa (December 12, 2016). "40 Under 40". Forbes.
  26. ^ Brayton, Jenna (May 11, 2015). "The White House Celebrates Entrepreneurs Around the World". – via National Archives and Records Administration.
  27. ^ Vinton, Kate (October 4, 2016). "Brian Chesky". Forbes.
  28. ^ "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. December 18, 2018.
  29. ^ "Dr Jeffrey Obomeghie and Dupe Olusola among the 100 most powerful people in global hospitality". Pulse Nigeria. August 1, 2022.
  30. ^ BIENASZ, GABRIELLE (November 16, 2022). "Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Is Renting Out His Home...On Airbnb: See The Photos". Entrepreneur.
  31. ^ "The low-key SF neighborhood where Airbnb and Instagram founders live". The San Francisco Standard. December 23, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  32. ^ "Airbnb Cofounders Join Buffett and Gates' 'Giving Pledge'". Fortune. June 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "Obama Foundation, Brian Chesky launch $100 million scholarship program". Candid. May 17, 2022.