Brian Chesky Bio

Latest posts by Maddy Chiffey (see all)

If you’ve ever scrawled the internet looking for last-minute bookings, or the most convenient places to stay for your vacation, you will undoubtedly have come across something called Airbnb. I have always found it fascinating to learn about the world of entrepreneurs, and Brian Chesky’s story is a great one, the way he started his business was so simple and somewhat humbling to read about. It makes me think that anyone can get to the top if they find something people need.

Brian Chesky co-founded the company Airbnb, a popular lodging service now used worldwide. Chesky is a highly successful businessman as well as an industrial designer. So successful, he is now a billionaire. He is an innovative and accomplished entrepreneur who did everything in his power to become one of the world’s top businessmen.

He got to where he is today after he and his fellow Rhode Island School graduate Joe Gebbia fled west, hoping to make some extra cash by putting up attendees at an industrial design conference in their apartment on air beds. I am here to put all the information and facts you need into this Brian Chesky bio, so you can learn everything you need to know about the ins and outs of Brian Chesky’s personal and professional life.

Brian Chesky Key Facts Summary

Full Name: Brian Joseph Chesky
Birth Date: 29th August 1981
Birth Place: Niskayuna, New York
Nick Name: N/A
Nationality: American
Siblings: Allison Chesky (younger sister)
Children: No children to date
Partner / Spouse: Elissa Patel
Profession: Industrial Designer
Salary: $7.8 Billion
Net Worth: $11 Billion
Social Media: Brian Chesky (@bchesky) / Twitter, Brian Chesky (@bchesky) 
Companies Associated With: Airbnb
Last Updated: July 2022

Brian Chesky Key Facts Summary

  • In 2015 Chesky was included in the Forbes list for America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.
  • He was recognized in Times Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
  • He was named an Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship by President Obama. (1)
  • In 2016, he joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’ The Giving Pledge, a group of billionaires committed to giving away the vast majority of their earnings.
  • In May this year (2022), The Obama Foundation announced Chesky’s $100 million gifts to launch a scholarship program for any student pursuing a career in public services. (2)

Brian Chesky Birthplace and Early Life

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design

Brian’s parents are Deborah and Robert H. Chesky. His father, who passed away in 2008, (3) was of Polish descent, and his mother was part Italian. (4) Both his mother and father were social workers. They also had one more child, Brian’s little sister, Allison.

From a very young age, it was clear that Chesky had a keen eye for art and would spend much of his spare time designing toys and shoes, drawing, and redesigning objects and paintings. He later started to show an interest in landscape, architecture, and more intelligent design. I think that his creative mind played a huge part in what turned out to be an amazing business. By the time he was around 18 years old, he was attending Rhode Island School of Design, and in 2004 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design.

See also: Rich Paul Bio

Brian Chesky Early Business Success

Brian’s success began to evolve very quickly after attending college, and it all started simply through an experience of his own which he promptly took advantage of.

A Business is Born

The early Airbnb business strategy was unique in that it wasn’t ever planned or thought out until they had an experience of their own.

While in San Francisco, Chesky shared an apartment with Joe Gebbia, a fellow college graduate. The pair were attending a conference held by the Industrial Designers Society of America. They knew that all the hotels in the area were fully booked, and as they were short on cash, they bought three air beds and rented them out as “airbed and breakfast” in their apartment. They had three guests stay on the first night paying $80 per night. (5) And so, Airbnb was born overnight.

Business Growth

Airbnb

The business was soon flying, and in 2008 Nathan Blecharczyk became the company’s third co-founder. Between the three of them, they played their roles in Airbnb, with Chesky being the Chief Executive Officer. He was extremely passionate about the business he had built from nothing, and I would imagine his company’s growing speed was surreal and overwhelming.

To help with funds, the three entrepreneurs created special edition cereals called “Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCains” (6). Seeing their dedication, Y Combinator agreed to accept Airbnb into their funding program. Before long, Airbnb was opening offices across Europe.

They had great ambition, and their business mission and values continued to grow in all aspects of the company. One example of this, was after tenants complained of vandalism and theft from tenants; Chesky introduced a 24-hour hotline, additional staff support, and a kind of insurance policy for any of these offenses that happened in the future to give the residents security and peace of mind. (7)

Brian Chesky Videos

Brian shares his thoughts and ideas on how people can turn a great idea into a successful business and talks about how it’s the people you work with who are the key to success.

Brian discusses how his business went from an idea that started in his apartment to a budding industry that made him the billionaire he is today.

Some people describe Airbnb as the “worst idea that ever worked.” Listen to what Brian has to say about why you should always go with your gut, and even if you think something isn’t going to work, ask for help, get a mentor, and figure out a way to make it work.

Watch this interview with Brian, where he tells us about how his business has helped the struggling people of Ukraine.

Brian discusses how the pandemic affected people traveling, whether it be for leisure or work. He talks about how people can now move across the world using Airbnb safely and securely while keeping their business going.

Brian Chesky Business Failures

Brian has been tremendously successful in his career, so as far as failures go, I can’t say he has failed at anything. Still, there was a controversy surrounding Airbnb in 2016 when accusations were made about a rape that took place in Manhattan in one of their rentals. Airbnb agreed to pay the alleged victim $7 million, and this was said to be a payout that is part of the firm’s efforts to hide such situations. The whopping amount of money handed out in compensation for the alleged crime is just a drop in the ocean compared to the $50 million that the B & B company dishes out yearly to cover damage costs and legal settlements. (8)

This incident, in particular, occurred on New Year’s Day in 2016, after a group of Australians rented a first-floor apartment in Times Square. The victim was a 29-year-old woman who was not named. After the assault, the offender was caught possessing a set of keys to the apartment alongside a weapon. It is still not known how the perpetrator got his hands on the keys in the first place. When Airbnb heard of the attack, they acted quickly to put the woman up in a hotel, fly in her relatives, and pay for any counseling. Generous? Or Suspicious?

The victim’s lawyer negotiated a $7 million settlement fee two years later. This payout prevented her from suing Airbnb for the alleged attack. It was revealed that this crime was part of Bloomberg’s broader investigation into the “internal safety team” of Airbnb. Former agents of the team even spoke out about other shocking incidents, including residents who had found dismembered human remains and bloodstains in their homes. Some said they had had to console visitors their hosts had assaulted. Creepy right? It is believed that many more harrowing stories may have been left unreported by the company. So, although it may not have brought down the business as of yet, and Chesky is still a successful businessman, who knows what the future holds should stories like these continue to be leaked.

See Also: Sofia Franklyn Bio: A Complete History of the Podcaster’s Turbulent Career¬†

Brian Chesky Family

Brian is currently in a long-term relationship with artist Elissa Patel. I was surprised to learn that the couple first met on the popular dating website Tinder and began officially dating in 2015. They appear settled and happy in their relationship but are not yet engaged to be married. They also don’t yet have any children. Elissa was born into a traditional Indian family and was raised on both Indian and American values. She currently works as a professional artist and describes her work style as “letting the mind run free.”

Find Out About: Chris Sacca, 42 and Retired

Brian Chesky Net Worth and Career Earnings

Brian’s current net worth stands at $11 billion. His success in Airbnb is visible in his annual salary, which is currently around $9 billion annually. However, this varies year to year due to the fluctuation in the market.

Along with Bill Gates, and other billionaires, Chesky joined The Giving Pledge, which means that he generously gives away at least half of his earnings to charity. However, considering the amount he earns, I would think this is a drop in the ocean.

Brian Chesky Real Estate Holdings

It may surprise you that Brian doesn’t own a home of his own but has spent recent years testing and trying out his own business in the form of sleeping at other people’s properties across the world. He decided that this was the best way to ensure his service was working as it should and that they provided a trusted service.

As it stands, there are millions of properties listed on the website across the globe, and in 2015, it was still rumored that he was renting out his couch in San Francisco for $50 per night.

Brian Chesky Quotes

As the founder of Airbnb, Brian has many inspirational words to share with anyone who wishes to be as successful as himself.

Here are some things Brian has to say about success, life, and getting where you want to be.

“The stuff that matters in life is no longer stuff. It’s other people. It’s relationships. It’s an experience.”

“When you start a company, it’s more an art than a science because it’s unknown. Instead of solving high-profile problems, try to solve something deeply personal to you. Ideally, if you’re an ordinary person and you’ve just solved your problem, you might have solved the problem for millions of people.”

“Study the habits of successful people.”

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people like.”

“We start with the perfect experience and then work backward. That’s how we’re going to continue to be successful.”

“Whatever career you’re in, assume it’s going to be a massive failure. That way, you’re not making decisions based on success, money, and career. You’re only making it based on doing what you love.”

“A company’s culture is the foundation of future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation.”

“Never assume you can’t do something. Push yourself to redefine the boundaries.”

Brian Chesky FAQs

Question: Is Brian Chesky Gay?

Answer: The answer is no; Brian is not gay, despite the rumors. He is in a stable, long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Elissa Patel.

Question: How Old is Brian Chesky?

Answer: He is 40 years old and will turn 41 in August this year (2022).

Question: How Many Airbnbs Are There in the World?

Answer: As it stands, there are currently over 7 million Airbnb listings across the globe.
Read FAQs About: Leon Black: The Billionaire Businessman Plagued by Scandal

Recommended Reads:

Research Citations

  1. The White House Celebrates Entrepreneurs Around the World | whitehouse.gov
  2. Obama Foundation, Brian Chesky launch $100 million scholarship program | Philanthropy news | PND
  3. Harry Chesky Obituary (2008) – SCHENECTADY, NY – Albany Times Union (legacy.com)
  4. The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon … – Brad Stone – Google Books
  5. Airbnb Is Inc.’s 2014 Company of the Year | Inc.com
  6. Brian Chesky on Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
  7. Sleazy Airbnb Is ‘Very Sorry’ For Wrecking Your Apartment (archive.org)
  8. Inside Airbnb’s ‘Black Box’ Safety Team: Company Spends Millions on Payouts – Bloomberg
Scroll to Top