- As part of a reorganization, travel company Away laid off 22 employees in May, including its chief commercial officer, according to sources familiar with the matter. The news was first reported by PitchBook.
- Chief Commercial Officer Laura Willensky began working at the direct-to-consumer brand in April 2021. The executive brought experience from companies such as Talbots, J. Crew and Victoria's Secret Beauty.
- Away has also welcomed two new hires to its leadership team, including Vice President of Retail Carissa Barrett, as well as Vice President of Brand Amanda Brody, according to a statement Away shared with Retail Dive. Barrett and Brody started the new positions in June, per the execs’ LinkedIn accounts.
The layoffs at Away come as the brand focuses on growth.
“In May, Away implemented organizational changes to better align our teams with our growth strategy. With this reorganization, we combined some functions to strengthen core competencies, and, as a result, made the difficult decision to part ways with some employees,” Away said in a statement. “We will be hiring additional strategic roles across the organization throughout the coming months. These actions have and will allow us to continue to drive sizable growth for the business while prioritizing our brand and customer experience.”
Willensky was named chief commercial officer around the same time co-founder Jen Rubio took on the chief executive officer position in 2021. Rubio became CEO a few months after Stuart Haselden announced he would depart the brand.
The changes at Away come after the brand in May opened a new store in San Jose, California. The opening marked its first new brick-and-mortar location since 2021, and the company at the time said it plans to open a store in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood this year. Each new store opening from Away creates a 150% lift in e-commerce within its respective market, the brand said.