Direct-to-consumer luggage company Away is beefing up its executive team ahead of significant growth plans.
Away appears to be digging into the world of Millennial d-to-c lifestyle brands by pulling talent and alumni from some of the category’s biggest players. The brand has poached Casper’s chief operating officer Charles Liu as its first chief operating officer. Liu has also held senior roles at Walmart, Shopko and Walgreens.
Former Barry’s Bootcamp chief marketing officer Melissa Weiss has signed on as Away’s chief marketing officer. Weiss also held jobs at Lyft, Amazon Fashion and Theory.
And Luke Chatelain, former chief digital officer for J.Crew, has been named as Away’s first chief digital officer. Chatelain also worked as the vice president for innovation at West Elm.
Away adds to its executive ranks after being embroiled in a very public scandal in 2019, involving allegations of toxic workplace culture and abusive behavior, with claims particularly waged against cofounder Steph Korey, who stepped down as chief executive officer in mid-2020.
And that was followed by the pandemic when travel was essentially brought to a complete halt — making the luggage industry among the hardest hit accessories categories and cutting into Away’s bottom line.
The company is now helmed by cofounder Jen Rubio, who is steering the company toward a post-COVID-19 era of growth. Earlier this fall, Away released a new range of luggage co-designed by small fashion labels with cult followings like Sandy Liang and Ji Won Choi.
“This is an incredibly exciting time at Away. After an extraordinarily challenging period for the travel industry, we have been capitalizing on growing customer demand and seeing significant gains across all categories,” Rubio said in a statement.
“As we prepare for our next stage of growth and a critical year ahead, we are thrilled to welcome Charles, Melissa and Luke to our leadership team. These talented and accomplished leaders bring an impressive depth of experience and diverse expertise to Away. I’m eager to see how their leadership will help drive operational excellence, foster innovation, deepen our community engagement and unlock Away’s unbounded future,” she added.