Away CEO Stuart Haselden Exits, Co-Founder Jen Rubio Named Interim CEO
Global lifestyle brand Away yesterday announced its Chief Executive Officer Stuart Haselden will leave the company in February to pursue another opportunity, according to a company press release. The release states that Haselden will maintain his seat on the company's board of directors, where he will continue to be involved in helping steer the business. Away's board of directors has appointed Co-Founder and President Jen Rubio to the role of interim CEO, and has engaged a search firm to identify the company's next CEO. Rubio and Haselden will jointly lead that process.
Total Retail's Take: Away has has a revolving door with its leadership in recent years, now topped off with Haselden leaving the company after less than a year as its chief executive. He will have been at the direct-to-consumer luggage brand 13 months, and just four months as the sole CEO. Haselden joined the brand during a tumultuous time, as he was brought in to replace Away Co-Founder Steph Korey in early 2020 amid allegations of abusive practices. However, weeks later the company's board changed course and reinstated Korey as co-CEO alongside Haselden. Well, the management shakeup at Away isn't over yet, as Rubio's appointment to CEO is only on an interim basis; the brand is in the midst of a search for a new permanent chief executive.
In addition to its leadership shuffle, Away has had to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic decrease in travel-essential purchases over the past year. The brand pivoted to remain afloat and is "well-positioned to capitalize on the coming economic recovery and be there for when the world is ready to travel again," according to Haselden. "With vaccines on the way and confidence in travel returning, Away has a huge opportunity in the second half of 2021," he continued.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.