WeWork CEO Adam Neumann Steps Down

The high-profile entrepreneur will remain nonexecutive chairman amid questions raised by the coworking giant's botched IPO.
Adam Neumann, co-founder, WeWork. Image courtesy of user Max Morse via Wikimedia Commons

Adam Neumann has resigned as CEO of WeWork, the flexible office giant he co-founded in 2010. The high-profile entrepreneur will remain as nonexecutive chairman of the board, while WeWork’s Artie Minson, formerly co-president & CFO, and Sebastian Gunningham, formerly vice chairman, will step up as co-CEOs of the firm.  

The leadership change comes under pressure, after WeWork parent The We Co. released an IPO prospectus in mid-August that raised questions about the firm’s valuation, business model and corporate governance. Early last week, the sharing economy firm was reported to have postponed its planned IPO roadshow, and Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group, We’s biggest shareholder, subsequently held internal discussions about how to remove Neumann, according to an account by the Wall Street Journal.

One source who spoke to the newspaper indicated that the company is mulling laying off a few thousand of its more than 12,000 employees. The shakeup leaves the fate of the prospective IPO in doubt and may have implications for the company’s rapid expansion. In less than a decade, WeWork has built up a global platform of 836 locations open and under development across 126 cities, including more than 24.3 million square feet of leased space in the U.S. The firm is now the biggest office tenant in both New York City and downtown Chicago.

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