Away’s CEO Steps Down From the Luggage Startup

George PaulPeople on the Move
Away suitcases

Away suitcases. Image credit: Away

Away CEO Stuart Haselden will step down from his position at the head of the luggage brand in February. Haselden will remain on the company’s board of directors and jointly lead the search process for his replacement with Away’s President and Co-Founder, Jen Rubio.

While the search for a permanent replacement is underway, Rubio will serve as the company's interim CEO.

Haselden initially joined Away in January 2020 following the abrupt resignation of then-CEO Steph Korey following an article by The Verge outlining 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.

During his tenure, the former Lululemon exec was responsible for growing Away's executive roster with fresh talent including Chief Supply Chain Officer Candan Erenguc and Chief Financial Officer Catherine Dunleavy.

In a press release, Rubio praised Haselden’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic which presented “unprecedented challenges” for the travel and retail industries. She went on to say, "The company's pivots during the pandemic resulted in strong performance over the last several months, with momentum continuing to grow. We are grateful for the steady leadership and experience that Stuart brought to the company. His ongoing guidance will be an asset to the Board of Directors as the travel and retail industries rebound."

Over the past year Away launched a slew of new products as consumer travel habits shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among its new products were a pet carrier and expansions to existing product lineups that more than doubled its catalog of backpacks, travel bags, and more.

"This past year has been an important period in the company's evolution, and no one is better positioned than Jen to continue to guide the company through this transition phase, Haselden said. “Away is well-positioned to capitalize on the coming economic recovery and be there for when the world is ready to travel again. With vaccines on the way and confidence in travel returning, Away has a huge opportunity in the second half of 2021."

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