Who you found a business with is more important than having a good idea, says Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

  • Airbnb’s CEO said that who you found a business with is more important than the idea itself.
  • Brian Chesky was speaking as part of the BBC’s CEO Secrets series.
  • He said that the primary reason startups fail is because the founder runs out of energy and quits.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If you want to grow a successful business, finding the right people to do it with is more important than the concept, according to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

“I’d rather work with great founders on a not great idea, than not-excellent founders on a great idea,” Chesky told BBC’s CEO Secrets series.

He said there’s often an obsession among founders with having a good idea and picking the right market, but after 13 years he thinks it matters more who you do it with than what you do.

Chesky cofounded the accommodation rental service in San Francisco in 2007, along with his then-roommate Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

Chesky and Gebbia started the business as a way of boosting rent, by letting designers in need of accommodation sleep on their lounge floor for $80 a night. Blecharczyk came onboard as they tried to grow the concept.

“Was Airbnb really a good idea?,” asked Chesky. “It didn’t seem like a good idea.”

He said that he was initially trying to raise $150,000 and sell a 10% stake in the business, but could barely get meetings with investors.

“But if you have a great team, you can take an idea that people might think is a little crazy and you can find a way in,” said Chesky, who added that the primary reason startups fail is because the founder quits, either because they lose motivation, traction, or run out of money.

“You don’t just get sniped, you kind of crawl and fade away. So just having great founders that can support you is the most important thing I think.”

Despite its initial struggles, Airbnb would eventually go on to receive initial backing from Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, as well as $600,000 seed investment from Sequoia Capital in 2009.

The company went public in December 2020 and has a market capitalization of around $89 billion.

All three cofounders remain in the business. Chesky as CEO, Blecharczyk as chief strategy officer and CEO of Airbnb China, while Gebbia is the chairman of charitable arm Airbnb.org and the company’s recently launched design studio Samara.

When previously asked to share career advice Chesky has said that optimism is an important trait for a business leader and that people shouldn’t listen to their parents when it comes to choosing their career.

He told the podcast host Dan Schawbel in April: “I wouldn’t even advise you to “follow your passion,” because that presumes you already know what your passion is. But most people have to discover it. And the only way to discover it is to take pressure off yourself.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sundar Pichai took over Google aged 47. Here’s his advice to anyone with similar ambitions.

Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai urges aspiring leaders to follow their heart.

  • Google’s CEO said aspiring CEOs should ‘figure out what their heart is excited by.’
  • He was speaking in an in-depth interview with BBC journalist Amol Rajan.
  • Pichai also revealed he speaks 3 languages and currently drives a Tesla.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google parent Alphabet, has offered some advice for people who want to run a successful company: Find something that excites you.

In an hour-long interview with the BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan, Pichai talks about the potential of quantum computing, the dangers of AI, and whether Alphabet, with a market capitalization of $1.6 trillion, is too big.

He also recalls the “simplicity” of his middle-class childhood growing up in Madurai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and his rise up the career ladder to become CEO of Alphabet in 2019, aged 47.

Pichai earned $281 million in compensation last year. When asked what his advice would be to someone from humble beginnings who wants to run a great company, Pichai said:

“I’ve always felt that – more than what your mind says – you need to figure out what your heart is excited by. It’s a journey and you will know it when you find it,” said Pichai.

“If you find that, things tend to work out,” he added.

Pichai said that he had wanted to work in Silicon Valley since he was a teenager and that his father took out a loan, worth a year’s salary, in order for Pichai to afford his flight and study at Stanford.

When asked how to land a job at Google, he gave some insight into the interview process when he applied for his first role in 2004. Pichai said: “You keep interviewing. I was interviewing on April Fool’s day and Google had just announced Gmail – which I thought was a joke.

“People kept asking me what I think of Gmail, which was invite-only at the time. It was only the fourth or fifth interviewer who asked ‘Have you seen Gmail?’ and I said no. He showed me on his computer.

“Then the next interview somebody asked me, I was able to answer it for the first time.”

He speaks to Mark Zuckerberg ‘as and when needed’

Pichai also offered some insight into his own personal work habits as CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies.

He wakes up between 6.30-7 am and tries to exercise three or four times a week. He doesn’t eat meat, and drinks tea in the mornings and coffee in the afternoons. He speaks three languages – English, Hindi and Tamil – and currently drives a Tesla.

The Wall Street Journal has been a long-term reading habit, although “90% of his consumption” is now online, from publications around the world.

When asked how often he speaks to Facebook chief and rival Mark Zuckerberg, he replied “as and when needed.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

GameStop just named an Amazon alum as its new CEO, the latest in a string of executive appointments hailing from the e-commerce giant

gamestop line
Customers line up for the launch of “Grand Theft Auto 5” in 2013 at a GameStop.

  • GameStop just hired a new CEO: Matt Furlong, a former senior leader at Amazon.
  • GameStop has reshaped its executive suite around former Amazon leaders.
  • The charge is being led by newly appointed GameStop board chairman and Chewy cofounder Ryan Cohen.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The world’s biggest video game retailer just appointed a new chief executive officer: Former Amazon executive Matt Furlong is taking over as CEO of GameStop, the company announced on Wednesday.

Furlong is joined by another former Amazonian in Mike Recupero, who is taking over as chief financial officer.

The two new top executives are part of a fully revamped c-suite that includes chief growth officer Elliott Wilke, who oversaw a variety of initiatives at Amazon, former Amazon fulfillment director Jenna Owens (COO), and former Amazon Web Services engineering lead Matt Francis (CTO). Furlong most recently oversaw Amazon’s Australia operations and Recupero was CFO of the North American consumer business.

The new executive team made up entirely of former Amazon leaders fits right in with the long-term plans of newly-elected board chairman and activist investor Ryan Cohen.

Cohen is spearheading a company-wide “transformation” at the ailing retailer which is intended to turn GameStop into the “Amazon of gaming.” To do that, he’s spent months slowly replacing leadership.

Read more: Meet David Drebin, the New York and Miami-based artist who sells his $100,000 work to the rich and famous

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

As GameStop’s stock value rocketed north of $400 earlier this year, the company barely acknowledged the stock value explosion and Cohen declined requests for interviews.

“Moving forward, we want you to judge GameStop based on our actions – not our words,” Cohen told shareholders during the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday, where he was elected chairman of the board, according to a representative. “As my dad would say, buckle up.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ulta Beauty tumbles as profit outlook disappoints and CEO Dillon plans to step down

ulta
  • Ulta Beauty dropped nearly 9% on Friday following quarterly earnings the prior evening.
  • Ulta’s earnings-per-share view of $8.85 to $9.30 fell short of Wall Street’s target of $10.61.
  • CEO Mary Dillion will transition to the role of the board’s executive chair.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ulta Beauty shares were knocked sharply lower on Friday after the cosmetics retailer’s yearly earnings guidance missed Wall Street’s target. The company also said CEO Mary Dillon will step down from the top role.

The company late Thursday forecast fiscal 2021 per-share earnings of $8.85 to $9.30, which includes the impact of about $850 million in share buybacks. Analysts were looking for earnings of $10.61 per share, according to data compiled by Refinitiv. Ulta’s revenue forecast was $7.2 billion to $7.3 billion, below the average analyst forecast of $7.32 billion.

The company in a separate announcement said Dillon will transition to the role of executive chair of its board of directors, with President Dave Kimbell to succeed her as CEO.

Shares dropped 8.5% to close at $318.15. They fell by as much as 12% to an intraday low of $306.06. The stock has gained about 11% this year and has climbed by 54% over the past 12 months.

“Throughout my time with the company, I have worked closely with our board on strategic succession plans, and I believe now is the right time to begin a CEO transition,” said Dillon in the statement, noting that she had led the company for eight years. Kimbell joined Ulta Beauty as chief marketing officer in 2014.

For the fourth quarter ended January 30, Ulta posted adjusted earnings were $3.41 per share, down from $3.83 per share a year ago but higher than expectations of $2.35 per share. Revenue of $2.2 billion was ahead of Wall Street’s projection of $2.08 billion but down from $2.31 billion a year earlier.

Dillon will be nominated to stand for election to the company’s board of directors at its 2021 annual stockholders meeting to be held on June 2.

Screen Shot 2021 03 12 at 8.24.40 AM
Read the original article on Business Insider

Ulta Beauty tumbles 11% as profit outlook disappoints and CEO Dillon plans to step down

ulta
  • Ulta Beauty dropped 11% on Friday following quarterly earnings the prior evening.
  • Ulta’s earnings-per-share view of $8.85 to $9.30 fell short of Wall Street’s target of $10.61.
  • CEO Mary Dillion will transition to the role of the board’s executive chair.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ulta Beauty shares were knocked sharply lower on Friday after the cosmetics retailer’s yearly earnings guidance missed Wall Street’s target. The company also said CEO Mary Dillon will step down from the top role.

The company late Thursday forecast fiscal 2021 per-share earnings of $8.85 to $9.30, which includes the impact of about $850 million in share buybacks. Analysts were looking for earnings of $10.61 per share, according to data compiled by Refinitiv. Ulta’s revenue forecast was $7.2 billion to $7.3 billion, below the average analyst forecast of $7.32 billion.

The company in a separate announcement said Dillon will transition to the role of executive chair of its board of directors, with President Dave Kimbell to succeed her as CEO.

Shares dropped 11% to a low of $308.32 as trading in the regular session got underway. The stock had gained 21% so far in 2021 and has climbed by nearly 68% over the past 12 months.

“Throughout my time with the company, I have worked closely with our board on strategic succession plans, and I believe now is the right time to begin a CEO transition,” said Dillion in the statement, noting that she had led the company for eight years. Kimbell joined Ulta Beauty as chief marketing officer in 2014.

For the fourth quarter ended January 30, Ulta posted adjusted earnings were $3.41 per share, down from $3.83 per share a year ago but higher than expectations of $2.35 per share. Revenue of $2.2 billion was ahead of Wall Street’s projection of $2.08 billion but down from $2.31 billion a year earlier.

Dillon will be nominated to stand for election to the company’s board of directors at its 2021 annual stockholders meeting to be held on June 2.

Screen Shot 2021 03 12 at 8.24.40 AM
Read the original article on Business Insider

CEOs like Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella are among the most overpaid CEOs, according to a new report

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, California
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a developers conference.

  • As You Sow has released its seventh annual report detailing the 100 most overpaid CEOs.
  • The top 30 CEOs on the list includes Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
  • Nine companies have made the list every year, including Walt Disney, Goldman Sachs, and IBM.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

CEOs like Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella are among the top 100 most overpaid CEOs, according to a new report from As You Sow.

It’s no secret that CEOs of S&P 500 companies make good money. However, As You Sow’s list doesn’t rank by the size of a CEO’s salary. Instead, the corporate responsibility non-profit uses different metrics to identify whether or not a CEO is being overpaid.

To do this, the study took three main factors into account: the amount of extra dollars a CEO receives based on past company performance and pay, the number of shareholders who voted against a CEO’s pay package, and the ratio comparing the executive’s compensation to the company’s median employee pay. The latter was weighed less heavily.

Coincidentally, the highest salary on the list happens to belong to the most overpaid CEO: Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, who receives a pay of $280,621,552, according to the report. To compare, the median pay of Alphabet workers sits at $258,708, which is a CEO to worker pay ratio of 1,085 to one.

Pichai is being paid an excess of $266,698,263, according to As You Sow.

Another tech giant, Microsoft, also made the list in 24th place. Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft, earns $42,910,215. According to the study, Nadella is being paid an excess of $27,896,691.

The median pay of Microsoft’s employees is $172,512, which is a CEO to worker pay ratio of 249 to one.

Several social media companies are seen as giants in Silicon Valley, but only one was included in the report: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, in 73rd place. Zuckerberg has a pay of $23,415,973, which, according to the study, contains an excess of $9,479,977.

To compare, the median employee pay at Facebook is $247,883. This amounts to a CEO to worker pay ratio of 94 to one, lower than both Microsoft and Alphabet’s.

However, the list wasn’t just dominated by tech leaders. Bob Iger, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Lachlan Murdoch of Fox Corporation, and Miguel Patricio of the Kraft Heinz Company were all listed among the top 30 most overpaid CEOs.

And according to the study, companies that have consistently graced the list are performing worse than those that have never been mentioned. As You Sow has published this report annually since 2015, and nine CEOs have made the list every year, amounting to a total pay of $2 billion. However, these nine businesses have seen a lower annualized shareholder return compared to S&P 500 companies that have never made the overpaid CEO list.

These nine companies include: Discovery, Walt Disney, Comcast, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, IBM, McKesson, Ralph Lauren, and Regeneron.

This consistent overpaying of CEOs can signal several concerns, specifically “poor accountability, weak governance, and lack of concern for shareholder interests,” the study notes.

However, this overcompensation issue may soon be changing as more shareholders are beginning to vote against these hefty CEO paychecks, according to Rosanna Landis Weaver, the report’s author.

“We might be going into a spring where we see higher votes against pay, particularly at companies that try to insulate their executive compensation from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Weaver told Insider.

These were the top 30 most overpaid CEOs, according to As You Sow’s new report:

30. Norwegian Cruise Line – Frank Del Rio

Pay: $17,808,364

Excess: $6,617,002

Median worker pay: $16,925

29. Walgreens Boots Alliance – Stefano Pessina

Pay: $19,156,202

Excess: $7,266,357

Median worker pay: $34,074

28. HCA Healthcare – Samuel Hazen

Pay: $26,788,251

Excess: $14,094,249

Median worker pay: $56,012

27. Netflix – Reed Hastings

Pay: $38,577,129

Excess: $23,649,474

Median worker pay: $202,931

26. AT&T – Randall Stephenson

Pay: $32,032,925

Excess: $19,313,311

Median worker pay: $98,630

25. McKesson – John Hammergren

Pay: $17,400,207

Excess: $5,240,500

Median worker pay: $38,026

24. Microsoft – Satya Nadella

Pay: $42,910,215

Excess: $27,896,691

Median worker pay: $172,512

23. Linde – Stephen Angel

Pay: $66,149,325

Excess: $52,644,326

Median worker pay: $40,601

22. Coty – Pierre Laubies 

Laubies was replaced halfway through 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pay: $16,211,992

Excess: $5,574,670

Median worker pay: $43,242

21. Mylan – Heather Bresch

Pay: $18,509,260

Excess: $7,524,895

Median worker pay: $43,367

20. Qualcomm – Steven Mollenkopf

Pay: $23,065,052

Excess: $9,744,629

Median worker pay: $90,259

19. Marathon Petroleum – Gary Heminger 

Heminger retired from the company in April 2020.

Pay: $24,129,164

Excess: $11,768,410

Median worker pay: $27,507

18. General Electric – H. Lawrence Culp Jr.

Pay: $24,553,788

Excess: $13,339,908

Median worker pay: $50,471

17. Centene – Michael Neidorff

Pay: $26,438,425

Excess: $13,257,871

Median worker pay: $68,987

16. Activision Blizzard – Robert Kotick

Pay: $30,122,896

Excess: $15,867,848

Median worker pay: $94,308

15. Fiserv – Jeffrey Yabuki

Yabuki stepped as CEO mid-2020, Marketwatch reported.

Pay: $27,601,026

Excess: $13,842,124

Median worker pay: $65,254

14. Comcast – Brian Roberts

Pay: $36,370,183

Excess: $23,330,783

Median worker pay: $78,869

13. Fidelity National Information Services – Gary Norcross

Pay: $27,658,117

Excess: $13,926,647

Median worker pay: $59,235

12. T-Mobile – John Legere

Legere stepped down as T-Mobile’s CEO at the end of April 2020.

Pay: $27,756,690

Excess: $13,798,277

Median worker pay: $62,195

11. Advanced Micro Devices – Lisa Su

Pay: $58,534,288

Excess: $40,542,122

Median worker pay: $96,874

10. Fox Corporation – Lachlan Murdoch

Pay: $42,111,103

Excess: $28,735,479

Median worker pay: not provided

9. Las Vegas Sands Corporation – Sheldon Gary Adelson

Adelson died this year and was replaced by Robert Goldstein as CEO.

Pay: $24,680,118

Excess: $11,976,674

Median worker pay: $42,228

8. Universal Health Services – Alan Miller

Pay: $24,473,240

Excess: $12,397,998

Median worker pay: $38,931

7. Intel – Robert Swan

Swan was replaced by Pat Gelsinger as CEO of Intel this month.

Pay: $66,935,100

Excess: $53,244,455

Median worker pay: $96,300

6. The Kraft Heinz Company – Miguel Patricio

Pay: $43,297,480

Excess: $31,390,609

Median worker pay: $42,689

5. The Walt Disney Company – Bob Iger

Iger stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in February 2020.

Pay: $47,517,762

Excess: $34,885,856

Median worker pay: $52,184

4. Howmet Aerospace – John Plant

Pay: $51,712,578

Excess: $39,321,473

Median worker pay: $55,497

3. CVS Health – Larry Merlo

Merlo retired from his CEO post this month.

Pay: $36,451,749

Excess: $24,311,079

Median worker pay: $46,140

2. Discovery – David Zaslav

Pay: $45,843,912

Excess: $33,823,935

Median worker pay: $79,343

1. Alphabet – Sundar Pichai

Pay: $280,621,552

Excess: $266,698,263

Median worker pay: $258,708

Read the original article on Business Insider