Consumer luggage brand Away has appointed Melissa Weiss as its chief marketing officer amid a C-level hiring spree.
The New York-based company, which has also appointed Charles Liu as chief operating officer and Luc Chatelain as chief digital officer — both new positions — said it is adding new talent as it seeks growth from surging demand for travel after the worst of the pandemic.
“After a very challenging period for the travel industry, we have benefited from increased customer demand and have seen significant gains across all categories,” Jane Rubio, Away co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
The company said Ms. Weiss will oversee brand marketing, growth marketing, creative functions and communications. Most recently, she worked as a consultant and prior to that as Head of Marketing at Lyft Micromobility. She also previously held the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Barry’s Bootcamp, and previously held senior positions at J.Crew and Amazon Fashion.
She succeeded Selena Calvaria, who started a new role as Senior Vice President, and the brand’s co-branding at Gucci Americas earlier this year.
Mr. Chatelin most recently held the position of Digital Director for J. Crew, and Mr. Liu previously held senior positions at Casper and Walmart.
Away launched its first product in 2016, with a portable bag that it sold directly to consumers via digital channels. It has since expanded to include several products related to luggage and travel, and has added brick-and-mortar retail stores to supplement its online sales.
In 2019, the company raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.4 billion. The following year, the Covid-19 pandemic brought travelers around the world to a standstill, bringing the entire industry to a standstill. In a mid-level job in April 2020, Ms. Rubio and Away co-founder, Steve Currie, announced that the company would lay off 10% of its employees and leave nearly half of its team.
Now, travel brands are reassessing their overall marketing and business strategies amid soaring travel demand as the pandemic restrictions ease. The company has since grown its team and reopened its retail locations.
In an emailed statement, Ms. Rubio said Away is focused on raising awareness, deepening community engagement, and adding customers.
“As we look to 2022 and beyond, we have set strong growth targets for the business, which includes a significant focus on our brand strategy,” she said.
During the pandemic, the company has continued to promote its brand, including a creative campaign that referenced the pandemic pet adoption chain, a direct email catalog highlighting home uses for travel accessories and partnerships with Serena Williams and fashion designer Sandy Liang, Ms. Rubio said. She added that the company has established partnerships with brands such as Marriott and fashion brand Keith.
Last month, the company said, Away began launching its holiday campaign online and in retail.
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