WeWork's Adam Neumann to step down as CEO


Facing pressure from major investors and the company's board, WeWork on Tuesday announced that founder Adam Neumann would step down as chief executive.

Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson will serve as interim co-CEOs as the company searches for a permanent replacement, The New York Times says, citing a person briefed on the decision.

The announcement comes in the wake of the company announcing it will delay its highly anticipated initial public offering.

"As co-founder of WeWork, I am so proud of this team and the incredible company that we have built over the last decade", Nuemann said in a statement.

The We Co. directors Neumann believes oppose him are Ronald Fisher, a Softbank vice chair; Bruce Dunlevie of venture firm Benchmark, and Mark Schwartz, formerly of Goldman Sachs, sources said. 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.

But investors saw two big problems: Neumann had too much control - he controlled a majority of shares and had the power to override any decision - and he was involved in a number of conflicts of interest.

Adam Neumann, the charismatic entrepreneur who led WeWork to become one of the world's most valuable startups, stepped down as chief executive officer after a plan to take the company public hit a wall. But there was little sign that IPO investor sentiment would change, threatening the value of the stakes, not just of outside investors in the company, but of Neumann as well.

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He's stepping down because of the recent scrutiny of his leadership over the past few weeks, he said, which has been "a significant distraction".

Mr Reynolds said he expected the company to remain privately held for the foreseeable future.

We Company had vowed to press ahead with an IPO by the end of the year. Individuals and companies are flocking to locations run by WeWork and others, attracted by shorter leases and nicely designed spaces.

Neumann also entered several transactions with We Company over the years, making the company a tenant in some of his properties and charging it rent.

Neumann, known for his party-animal lifestyle and dreams of becoming the immortal trillionaire president of the world, will stay on as non-executive chairman of the board.

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. "As we take this next step in our company's journey, I am equally ready to listen, grow and continue working relentlessly on my commitment to all of you".

Neumann co-founded WeWork in 2010 with one shared office in Manhattan. The Journal said the jet's owner recalled the plane before Neumann reboarded after the flight crew discovered more of the drug stuffed in a cereal box for the return journey.