Carousell gets Airbnb regional head on board as VP
By Digital News Asia February 2, 2016
- Ex-MD of Airbnb’s SEA operations, and its first employee in the region
- To lead international ops to accelerate Carousell’s worldwide expansion
MOBILE marketplace startup Carousell has announced the appointment of former Airbnb executive Chai Jia Jih (pic above) as vice president, International, effective March 2.
In this role, he will lead international growth to accelerate Carousell’s expansion worldwide, as well as support financial strategy and planning, the company said in a statement.
He will be based in Carousell’s headquarters in Singapore and will work closely with the cofounders as part of the leadership team, it added.
Chai was most recently Airbnb South-East Asia managing director and the head of its Asia Pacific host operations. He joined as Airbnb’s first employee in South-East Asia and helped chart its rapid growth in Asia over the past three-and-a-half years, according to Carousell.
Named in Campaign Asia’s ‘40 under 40’ list in 2015, he was recognised for his impact in leading Airbnb’s growth in the region.
“I’ve personally been a Carousell user since 2013 and I’ve found it really great for selling pre-loved items, such as underused gadgets from Kickstarter,” said Chai.
“I’ve also seen how Carousell’s not just a marketplace – it’s a community where meaningful stories are taking place every day through thousands of transactions.
“Carousell has tremendous potential and I’ll be working very closely with all my new teammates to steer the company towards achieving its vision,” he added.
Chai also brings with him over 12 years of leadership and growth experience in technology. Prior to Airbnb, he was a junior partner at McKinsey & Co where he advised leading tech and telco companies across Asia.
Early in his career, he worked as a software engineer and product manager at a software startup.
Chai holds an INSEAD MBA and graduated with a computer engineering degree from the National University of Singapore.
“[Chai] has been a good friend and mentor to Carousell for a long time, and we’re really looking forward to the wealth of knowledge and expertise he will bring with him to our company,” said cofounder Quek Siu Rui.
“Additionally, he is a great cultural fit for us as a product and technology focused company, and he shares our passion for the Carousell mission – to inspire the world to start selling,” he added.
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