Following a tumultuous couple of years at DTC travel brand Away, fraught with turmoil in top leadership and compounded by the COVID pandemic, the company’s Co-founder Jen Rubio has officially been named as CEO. Rubio moved into the position on an interim basis in February 2021 after Stuart Haselden stepped down to pursue another opportunity.
Following an executive search, the company’s Board of Directors landed on Rubio, citing her “strong leadership amid industry turmoil, the advantages of maintaining continuity across the business and her unique ability to be an ongoing steward of the company’s long-term vision.”
One of Rubio’s first moves has been the hiring of Laura Willensky as the brand’s first-ever Chief Commercial Officer. Willensky brings extensive retail experience with brands including Talbots, J.Crew and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. In her new role, Willensky will lead Away’s ecommerce, merchandising, retail, customer experience and international teams.
Away has rebounded in recent months from the hit it took during the pandemic, according to a company statement. During this time Rubio led a companywide strategic planning initiative that resulted in long-term investments across Away’s physical and digital infrastructure, identified opportunities for product category expansion and developed a refreshed brand strategy.
“The past year has been a difficult one for nearly every industry, but especially so for retail and travel businesses,” said Rubio in a statement. “The Away team has demonstrated an acute ability to remain resonant among our consumers while delivering resilient financial performance. As the industry is redefined in a post-pandemic era, I’m eager to lead Away in shaping modern travel by removing frictions and transforming the travel experience for everyone.”