WeWork’s co-founder and chief executive officer Adam Neumann is expected to step down, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. WeWork’s vice chairman Sebastian Gunningham, as well as the company’s president & chief operating officer Artie Minson will serve as interim co-CEOs, The New York Times reports.
The eclectic executive has faced increasing pressure to relinquish his throne after another report from the WSJ highlighted his drug use and desires to become Israel’s prime minister, among other strange behaviors.
We’ve reached out to WeWork for comment.
SoftBank, the Japanese investor that has funneled billions into the star co-working business, is said to have encouraged — rather, enforced — Neumann’s reported transition out of the CEO role ahead of the company’s anticipated initial public offering. Per the WSJ, moving to the chairman seat would “allow [Neumann] to stay at the company he built into one of the country’s most valuable startups, but inject fresh leadership to pursue an IPO that would bring We the cash it needs to keep up its torrid growth.”
WeWork revealed its unusual IPO prospectus last month after raising more than $8 billion in equity and debt funding. The New York-based company had been valued at a whopping $47 billion, thanks largely to SoftBank’s repeated investments, despite financials that show losses of nearly $1 billion in the six months ending June 30.
Wall Street investors were skeptical of the eye-popping valuation, leading to reports WeWork would seek a valuation of below $20 billion, a magnificent defeat for one of the most valuable private companies in the world.
This story is updating.