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Away Adds 3 Retail Vets to Fuel ‘Next Stage of Growth’

Away Executive Appointments

DTC luggage brand Away has bolstered its leadership team with three C-suite hires, following the April 2021 appointment of Co-founder Jen Rubio as CEO and the subsequent hiring of Laura Willensky as the brand’s first-ever Chief Commercial Officer.

The newest members of the Away executive team are:

  • Charles Liu joins as the company’s first-ever Chief Operating Officer, leading Away’s end-to-end supply chain and business technology teams. Liu was most recently COO at Casper and before that held leadership roles at Walmart, Shopko and Walgreens;
  • Melissa Weiss has been named Chief Marketing Officer and will manage the brand marketing, growth marketing, creative and communications functions. Weiss held previous roles at Lyft, Barry’s Bootcamp, Theory and Amazon Fashion; and
  • Luke Chatelain will serve in the newly established Chief Digital Officer role, overseeing the digital product, UX and insights teams to help define the future of Away’s omnichannel commerce experience. Chatelain was previously VP of Innovation and Digital Product at West Elm and most recently was Chief Digital Officer of J. Crew.

Following a tumultuous couple of years at Away, fraught with turmoil in top leadership and compounded by the COVID pandemic, both the travel industry and Away are beginning to rebound; the company said in a statement that is has now returned to a “growth position.” In 2021, Away has expanded its product assortment, launched collaborations with notable figures including Serena Williams and fashion designer Sandy Liang, and established partnerships with brands such as Marriott to KITH.

“After an extraordinarily challenging period for the travel industry, we have been capitalizing on growing customer demand and seeing significant gains across all categories,” said Rubio 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.”

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