Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia steps down to pursue other projects

Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and chairman of Airbnb.org, during the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, USA on Sunday, March 13, 2022.

Matthew Bush | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia announced on Thursday that he is stepping down from his position at the company to pursue other projects.

Gebbia has been with the company since its inception in 2007 and has said he will remain on Airbnb’s board of directors. He is the first of the three original founders to retire.

“After much deliberation, I have decided to step down from my full-time operational role at Airbnb,” Gebbia said in a letter to staff. “The main reason for this move is that this is the only company I have ever helped build and my brain is bursting with new ideas that I want to bring to life.”

In a letter published by Airbnb, Gebbia wrote that he would step back to focus on becoming a father. He said he’s also looking for time for other projects, citing documentaries, philanthropy, and “an Airbnb spin-off product.”

Gebbia reflected on the company’s early years, which he said were inspired by a landlord raising the rent on a San Francisco apartment he shared with a roommate.

Gebbia said he will also continue to serve on the board of Airbnb.org, a nonprofit that has worked to provide housing during the crisis, including for those affected by Covid-19, natural disasters and global conflict.

Airbnb.org’s latest project provided free temporary housing to more than 28,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

This is an evolving story. Please stay tuned for updates.