WeWork becomes latest trendy company to spiral
Following in the footsteps of bad boy tech leaders like Elon Musk of Tesla and Travis Kalanick of Uber, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann stepped aside Tuesday. A recent Wall Street Journal report alleged that Neumann drank on the job and encouraged others to emulate him—even passing out tequila shots at one meeting. Private investors had valued WeWork at $47 billion, but the company delayed its initial public offering earlier this month after revealing massive losses in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
What is WeWork? Neumann co-founded WeWork in 2010. The company leases workspaces with a trendy atmosphere to small businesses, start-ups, and freelancers. It now operates in 11 cities worldwide and serves 527,000 members. But it has relied heavily on private investors, and some questioned Neumann’s behavior and governance of the company. He used his WeWork stock to secure a $500 million personal loan, owns four of the buildings WeWork leases, and sold the trademark “We” to the company for $6 million. He returned the money after many criticized the move.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Angela Lu Fulton’s report on the growing office sharing trend.
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