Update: CEO Steph Korey has returned to Away after stepping down, only a few weeks after our initial report published. You can read more about it here, but our original article on Away and its hiring plunge remains unchanged.
The last time we checked in on Away ($AWAYTRAVEL) was a few months ago when the company was soaring. We noted the rising rates in hiring and employee count, and things were looking up for the social media data too. But after a scathing report from The Verge about Away's workplace culture has the company’s corporate comms group reeling, we took another look at Away's data to see what, if anything, was happening.
And we found something curious: the once-growing company's hiring data shows job listings dropping precipitously.
In September, Away was hiring for as many as 108 people. As of this week, that number is below 50. It's a curious shift given the company's funding, valuation, and reported profitability. After all, if a startup isn't hiring, it isn't growing.
Hiring is down across virtually all divisions at Away, but the above chart shows how the Customer Experience group appears to have been decimated in terms of growth. The Verge piece details how the team was so hammered and bludgeoned by CEO Steph Korey that many ended up quitting. This hiring data reveals that there hasn't been a real effort to replace them.
Employee count as measured via LinkedIn profiles appears to corroborate a slowdown in hiring, as the number of profiles listing Away as an employer has plateaued since mid-November.
Away raised more than $150 million on a $1.4 billion valuation the last time it took capital from investors. Those investors include Lone Pine Capital, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, and entrepreneur/model Karlie Kloss.
Away’s unicorn trajectory was so substantial that it’s worth reflecting on how much the impact of a few poorly-thought out Slack messages from senior leadership derailed morale and — if it can't get ahead of what's sure to be a PR nightmare — revenue, and it serves as a cautionary tale for every other leader who manages via Slack.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.