34 min

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky: "Crisis is pushing us back to our roots" Masters of Scale: Rapid Response

    • Management

As the pandemic hit, Airbnb was preparing for an IPO. Within a matter of days, everything changed dramatically, as travel worldwide screamed to a halt. “I felt like I was captain of a ship and a torpedo hit the side,” says CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb responded quickly, announcing that they'd override host rules and allow for guest cancellations. They went on to establish a relief fund for hosts, lobby the U.S. Congress to include hosts in the CARES stimulus package; open up a new business line of virtual experiences, and raise an astounding one billion dollars in new capital — all with the goal of both weathering the storm and laying the groundwork for the new era of travel that Chesky firmly believes will follow. Chesky takes our co-host Bob Safian through the last few weeks, shares what gives him hope and explains why he’s bringing Airbnb back to its roots as a scrappy, resilient startup that can adapt and evolve.

As the pandemic hit, Airbnb was preparing for an IPO. Within a matter of days, everything changed dramatically, as travel worldwide screamed to a halt. “I felt like I was captain of a ship and a torpedo hit the side,” says CEO Brian Chesky. Airbnb responded quickly, announcing that they'd override host rules and allow for guest cancellations. They went on to establish a relief fund for hosts, lobby the U.S. Congress to include hosts in the CARES stimulus package; open up a new business line of virtual experiences, and raise an astounding one billion dollars in new capital — all with the goal of both weathering the storm and laying the groundwork for the new era of travel that Chesky firmly believes will follow. Chesky takes our co-host Bob Safian through the last few weeks, shares what gives him hope and explains why he’s bringing Airbnb back to its roots as a scrappy, resilient startup that can adapt and evolve.

34 min

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