CEO Brian Chesky on Airbnb’s racial reckoning and the future of travel

2020 was going to be a big year for Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky: With a valuation around $31 billion, Airbnb was going to go public on March 31. And then the pandemic hit. Within weeks, Airbnb was gutted and Brian was forced to lay off 25 percent of his staff. “It would have been so easy to just spiral,” Brian Chesky says. “But every moment is a moment for us to be doing something that’s defining, to make us better.” On this episode of Back to Biz with Katie and Boz, co-hosts Katie Couric and Bozoma Saint John talk to Brian about how he quickly pivoted his company and how travel will be forever changed. In the wake of the national anti-racism protests, Airbnb has also had to reckon with its record on discrimination. Brian Chesky shares his regrets on not doing more sooner on race and the steps the company is taking now to make the platform and the company more equitable.   Sign up for Katie Couric’s morning newsletter, “Wake-Up Call.” Learn more about your ad-choices at See for privacy information.