The CEO of the luggage company Away, Steph Korey, was asked to relinquish her title for creating a hostile and toxic work culture. Korey, one of the founders of the company, will be replaced by Lululemon executive, Stuart Haselden. Following the accusation, she will uphold her executive chairman position.
How it all started?
Steph Korey and Jennifer Rubio met in 2011 and started a company to sell luggage bags directly to the consumers, cutting out the middle-man and proving the travel bags at coach prices. A strategy implemented by modern brands.
The 28 years old was known for blunt judgments, as she believed that sugar coating words can hinder the employees’ growth. However, her demeanor brimmed the work environment with toxicity. Away’s hostile environment was exposed after The Verge Investigation.
The Verge reported that Korey intimidated employees on Slack’s public channels. Away didn’t allow employees to engage with each other privately, which led all the conversations to take place on the platform. This resulted in executives giving brutal feedback and criticized employees for minimal mistakes.
In a report published by The Verge, Korey traumatized employees by taking off their work from home and extra hours pay off, telling that these initiatives will help in “career development”.
Conclusively, she was known for ripping employees apart, which eventually demeaned employees’ morale.
Steph Korey apologized publicly
“Starting and growing a company is incredibly hard, and I’ve made mistakes as we’ve built Away,” Korey began in a statement on Twitter.
“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,” she mentioned in the statement.
Her apology was not taken well by the users. In response to her apology, Twitter users took a toll on her by passing a lot of trash comments.
Away’s call on her step down
The company told the Wall Street Journal that The Verge’s report was not the result of her stepping down from the position. They implied that the company was looking for a new CEO since spring.
“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.”
Stuart Haselden will take over the company’s day to day operations on January 13th, 2020.
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