Attempting to go public stirred up a lot of drama — in finances and leadership — for WeWork, the nine-year-old coworking company.
- WeWork has been in turmoil since it filed its public-offering paperwork in August.
- In one month, the coworking company cut its valuation down to as low as $10 billion from $47 billion, removed Adam Neumann as CEO, and delayed its initial public offering indefinitely.
- In October, WeWork was taken over by its biggest investor, Softbank. Softbank gave Neumann a $1.7 billion golden parachute to step down from his position as chairman of the board at WeWork. Softbank assigned WeWork a $5 billion valuation at the end of the third quarter.
- On November 21, WeWork confirmed that it laid off 2,400 employees.
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What just happened to WeWork?
Attempting to go public this fall stirred up a lot of drama — in finances and leadership — for the nine-year-old coworking company.
Here's a 30-second explanation of what's going on:
WeWork publicly filed its IPO paperwork on August 14.
After the filing, WeWork faced intense scrutiny of its finances and leadership from investors and the media. There were concerns about WeWork's path to profitability and its leader, CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann. Ultimately, WeWork delayed its IPO on September 16.
After the delay, attention shifted to Neumann's inappropriate antics, Neumann stepped down from his role as CEO on September 24.
SoftBank, WeWork's biggest investor, took control of the company on October 22. SoftBank gave Neumann $1.7 billion to step down from his position as chairman of the board at WeWork.
On November 21, WeWork confirmed that it laid off 2,400 employees.
Here are some more details you might want to know:
The antics that led to Neumann stepping down from his CEO role included reports of him smoking weed on a private jet, serving employees tequila shots after discussing layoffs, and trademarking the term "We" and then forcing WeWork to buy it for $5.9 million.
His successors, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, have stepped into the role of co-CEOs of WeWork as it attempts to navigate its future.
Softbank assigned WeWork a $5 billion valuation at the end of the third quarter.
Now, here's a 5-minute timeline of events, via our past coverage.
Forbes just revoked Adam Neumann's billionaire status and lowered its estimate of his personal net worth to $600 million — which means his purported net worth has plummeted by $3.5 billion in just 7 months
September 22 and 23
A former WeWork executive who made $300,000 and is now suing describes strange cultlike culture, including endless flows of alcohol at mandatory sleepover camp for employees and the CEO's children on his lap during an all-hands meeting