Bruce Vaughn to lead new Experiential Creative Product team

Former Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Imagineering and Dreamscape Immersive appointed to lead offline innovation at Airbnb

Propelled by the flexibility created by remote work, travel is undergoing a fundamental change. As we continue to drive the travel revolution, today, we are announcing the creation of a new team to be led by former Disney executive Bruce Vaughn that will shape the future of Airbnb’s offline products.

As VP of Experiential Creative Product, Bruce will report to Catherine Powell, Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting. His team will be responsible for designing and delivering more immersive experiences in the real world for both Stays and Experiences on Airbnb. This will include potentially new ways to host on Airbnb and exciting new offline experiences for guests. Under his remit, Bruce will lead the strategy and evolution of Airbnb’s Experiences business as well as experiential marketing. 

“We have just scratched the surface of the opportunities that hosting provides,” said Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb. “We are a creatively-led business and Bruce brings with him a huge amount of creative firepower to help us design exciting new ways to host.”

The pandemic is changing the way that people use Airbnb. In Q2 2021, close to one in five (19%) nights were for stays of 28 days or more. Some small businesses have turned to listings on Airbnb for meetings and co-working over traditional office space. We are also seeing a strong desire from people to connect with each other following months of isolation. Our platform is inherently adaptable to meet new trends and demands and this new team will play a key role in developing new offline concepts and bringing them to life. 

“I had the pleasure of working with Bruce at Disney and he is the master of immersive storytelling,” said Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting at Airbnb. “He was able to bring a story to life through every aspect of the experience at the Disney Parks – from rides to food to shops. I look forward to working with him to bring these unique connections to our guests and Hosts.”

Bruce Vaughn commented, “I feel privileged to join Airbnb at such an incredible time in the company’s growth. There is so much momentum behind the brand and, with the world starting to open for travel and exploration once again, I can’t imagine a better company at a better moment in time to connect guests and hosts though truly unique, positive, life changing experiences.”

Bruce joins Airbnb from Dreamscape Immersive, which uses the most advanced VR technologies to create an entirely new form of mainstream location-based entertainment. Prior to this, he was Chief Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) where he led the integrated creative teams of WDI, Disney’s Creative Entertainment and WDI Research and Development. Vaughn was responsible for product development and innovation across theme park attractions and special effects, innovative theater experiences, and new business opportunities that leverage emerging technologies. Vaughn has received several screen credits for feature films, including Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and Imposter (2001). He led the R&D teams that received THEA (Themed Entertainment Awards) awards.