Thursday, 17 October, 2019

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann Steps Down Amid Stalled IPO

Adam Neumann is stepping down as CEO of WeWork.							REUTERS  Eduardo Munoz  File Adam Neumann is stepping down as CEO of WeWork. REUTERS Eduardo Munoz File
Irene Mckinney | 25 September, 2019, 00:27

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has agreed to resign as chief executive of the US office-sharing company but will remain as non-executive chairman, bowing to pressure from some of his investors, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Artie Minson, now chief financial officer of WeWork parent We Company, and Sebastian Gunningham, a vice chairman for the New York-based start-up, will become co-chief executives, the sources said.

The news of both Neumanns stepping down from C-suite roles at The We Company comes amid the company's attempt to go public.

Neumann, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $2.2-billion, developed a cult following among many We Company employees, vowing to "elevate the world's consciousness" as he sought to establish WeWork as a brand that transcended office sharing. The company's valuation, once estimated at $47 billion, reportedly has dropped to less than $20 billion and its initial public offering has been delayed.

Of course, Neumann has the power through his super majority shares to fire the board, but going nuclear would only reinforce his reputation as an imperial CEO and hurt the stock offering, sources added.

"While our business has never been stronger, in recent weeks, the scrutiny directed toward me has become a significant distraction, and I have decided that it is in the best interest of the company to step down as chief executive", he added.

Low said he continues to believe in the company and that vision. He has since given back the money for the naming rights, and committed to giving his profits from the related real-estate deals back to the company. Chief among his opponents is SoftBank's founder Masayoshi Son, who had previously been a champion of Neumann's leadership.

Netanyahu, Gantz deadlocked with almost all votes counted: Israel media
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WeWork provides freelancers, startups and others with rentable office space they can access through an app and site.

Neumann's professional judgment and ethics have also been a subject of concern.

WeWork reported that it has 527,000 members and 528 locations at the end of June and said it plans to open 169 new locations.

But the brash charisma that once attracted investors emerged as a liability as WeWork made a decision to sell its shares on the public market. It has also been updated to state that the company will not search for an external CEO.

According to CBS MoneyWatch's calculations, based on WeWork's latest financials that were released as part of the documents that were filed for its stalled IPO, WeWork has about five months cash on hand - or nearly $1.5 billion -before it will either have to raise more money or face questions about its prospects.

While his investors were willing to entertain his eccentricities over the last decade that he has led WeWork since its founding in 2010, his free-whiling ways and party lifestyle came into focus once he failed to get the company's IPO underway.

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