Once, during an interview, a woman remarked that she was drawn to Away because she was a snake person and it was a snake person-friendly product. “I’m a snake person, too,” Korey said. Later, that same employee was told by her manager that Korey had referred to the team as a bunch of “snake person twats.”
Away, an online seller of luggage that investors valued at $1.4 billion earlier this year, said Chief Executive Officer Steph Korey is stepping down from the post.
Ms. Korey will become executive chairman of the New York City-based startup. Stuart Haselden, formerly chief operating officer at Lululemon Athletica Inc., will succeed her as CEO, according to the company. Away co-founder Jen Rubio will remain president and chief brand officer.
But one of the strangest things was that while it was ostensibly a story about the company, the actual story felt almost entirely like a hit on Korey, personally. No other executive’s Slack messages were quoted as evidence of the perceived cultural problems.
All six sources were anonymous former employees (and, coincidentally or not, women).
But multiple sources tell Recode that while new CEO Stuart Haselden had indeed planned to join Away before The Verge piece was published, he was not meant to immediately helm the CEO role; instead, he would join the company as Away’s chief operating officer, or COO, reporting to Korey, and would later move into the top spot if all went according to plan.
Under that original plan, Haselden would eventually replace Korey as CEO — perhaps as early as mid-2020 — after he got to know the business better. It was also meant to allow Korey time to get comfortable with the transition, according to a person familiar with the plan.
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