The multi-millionaire founder of a glamorous luggage start up will give up her job after a series of social media posts sparked outrage.
The multi-millionaire founder of a glamorous luggage start up will give up her job after a series of social media posts sparked outrage.

CEO steps down over controversial Instagram posts

Away co-CEO Steph Korey is planning to step down a second time amid an uproar over her Instagram posts bashing journalists and the news media.

The luggage start-up's impending leadership change comes after some Away staffers reportedly expressed concerns about the posts in an email to company honchos, saying Ms Korey was putting her reputation ahead of her company and employees.

Posting on her Instagram Story this week, Ms Korey suggested that journalists target female executives because stories about them get more "clicks".

She also mused that it should be easier to sue news organisations for defamation because "misrepresentation *is* the business model of some outlets".

"I know there are a few [journalists] who are using the media platform they have access to further their careers by knowingly misrepresenting female founders for clicks $ their own profile/fame," Ms Korey wrote, according to screenshots of the posts shared on Twitter.

In response, Away president Jen Rubio and Stuart Haselden, the other co-CEO, said Ms Korey will leave her post by the end of the year after she returns from maternity leave in August. They told employees in an email that Ms Korey's posts "do not reflect or affect our current company priorities".

"We hear you that these posts, coming from a co-CEO, distract from our focus as a company, and we are sorry that this has caused pain for some of our employees and placed unnecessary negativity and pressure on our community-facing teams," Ms Rubio and Mr Haselden wrote in the message, which Vice published last Thursday.

An Away spokesman confirmed its authenticity to The Post.

Ms Korey planned to eventually hand the reins to Mr Haselden when they started sharing the CEO's job in January, said Brendan Lewis, Away's vice president of communications and corporate affairs.

The transition "is in no way a result of any social media activity this week", he said in an email.

Mr Lewis did not say whether Ms Korey will leave Away altogether once Mr Haselden takes over or take on a new role at the company.

Ms Korey first announced plans to step aside as CEO in December in the wake of The Verge'sdamning report detailing a ruthless corporate culture at the buzzy suitcase brand she co founded.

She initially apologised for attacking her employees and said she would become Away's executive chairman.

But weeks later, Ms Korey said she and Mr Haselden, a former Lululemon executive, would lead Away together - and dug in her heels against The Verge's reporting, bringing on the defamation law firm Clare Locke to support her company.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

Originally published as CEO steps down over Insta posts



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