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The WeWork fiasco of 2019, explained in 30 seconds

The WeWork fiasco of 2019, explained in 30 seconds
The WeWork fiasco of 2019, explained in 30 seconds - Business Insider

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.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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 Press Kit - Common Area in Dalian Lu #1
A common area in the Dalian Lu WeWork in Shanghai.
WeWork

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:

wework adam neumann 4 4x3
WeWork; Eduardo Munoz/REUTERS; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

"The We Company" was described in its IPO filing as an umbrella with three major arms: WeWork, WeLive, and WeGrow.

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.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09: Adam Neumann speaks onstage during WeWork Presents Second Annual Creator Global Finals at Microsoft Theater on January 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images
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