Jen Rubio. Image credit: Masha Maltsava, Away
Ahead of a potential IPO, luggage brand Away has cemented its co-founder, Jen Rubio, as its new CEO. She had initially taken on the role as interim CEO while the company’s Board of Directors searched for a top executive following the departure of then-CEO Stuart Haselden in February 2021.
On top of this news, the company also announced that Rubio has hired Laura Willensky as the brand's first-ever Chief Commercial Officer to further bolster its executive team. Her role places her in charge of Away's e-commerce, merchandising, retail, customer experience, and international teams.
"Laura's depth of experience and industry expertise across e-commerce, merchandising, and retail strategy will be crucial for the journey ahead as the floodgates of travel re-open," Rubio stated. "Her addition to Away's leadership team will enable the company's continued expansion, and we couldn't be more excited to see her impact on our business."
In an interview with Bloomberg, Rubio also said that as the company looks forward toward a potential IPO and thinks about its position as a retail company it needed an experienced leader to fill its Chief Commercial Officer role. “There are a lot of ways we want to mature as a business, and that’s what Laura brings to the table,” Rubio added.
Rubio’s confirmation as CEO will also bring stability to Away’s leadership team as she will be the company’s third CEO in almost two years, which will likely please investors. Her predecessor, Haselden, had initially joined Away in January 2020 after the abrupt resignation of then-CEO Steph Korey, which followed an article by The Verge that outlined an alleged toxic culture within the company perpetuated by Korey. Korey then rejoined the company a few months later splitting the CEO position with Haselden, but eventually stepped down again in October 2020 leaving Haselden as the sole CEO.
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