- Away co-founder and CEO Steph Korey is stepping down from the luggage company following a report about a toxic work culture
Away co-founder and CEO Steph Korey is stepping down from the popular luggage company. This news comes shortly after The Verge published an article detailing the toxic culture at the company featuring screenshots of Korey’s messages to employees on Slack.
“At times, I expressed myself in ways that hurt the team. I can imagine how people felt reading those messages; I was appalled and embarrassed reading them myself. I’m not proud of my behavior in those moments, and I’m sincerely sorry for what I said and how I said it. It was wrong, plain and simple,” wrote Korey in a tweet. “Since last year’s incidents, I’ve worked hard to improve as a leader, working closely with an executive coach and building a leadership team I can lean on and learn from. It’s my responsibility to examine my own actions and set not just the standards for our work, but the standards for our behavior toward each other and the tone for the culture we want — one that is in line with the brand we convey. I know I have more work to do, and I will do better for the team.”
Former Lululemon COO Stuart Haselden will be succeeding Korey. Haselden is starting the position on January 13. And Korey will remain on the Away board as executive chairman.
According to The Verge, Away does not allow employees to email each other and it encourages employees not to direct message each other. So conversations generally happen on public Slack channels. On these channels, executives have been publicly giving harsh feedback to employees.
Away told The Wall Street Journal that it was looking for a new CEO since the spring. But Away co-founder Jen Rubio acknowledged that The Verge article highlighted the harsh realities at the company.
“In light of the article, it’s been a difficult few days for the company,” co-founder Jen Rubio added. “But we don’t want that to overshadow this announcement.” Rubio will remain as the president and chief brand officer at the company.