Amanda Lang: WeWork a reminder buying a new public company can be risky
WeWork will spend the next month putting together a plan that will prioritize profit over growth, executives said in a meeting with employees Wednesday.
Marcelo Claure, the new chairman who joined from SoftBank Group Corp., and Miguel McKelvey, the co-founder and chief culture officer, spoke to staff at headquarters in New York for the first time since the company announced a takeover by its largest shareholder, SoftBank. They reiterated that staff cuts are coming and addressed some questions from anxious employees, according to people who attended the meeting.
WeWork’s parent company, We Co., is reeling from a botched initial public offering that led to the departure of the chief executive officer and co-founder, Adam Neumann, and near financial ruin. The best public relations strategy, Claure told employees, is to have a plan, show results and let the results speak for themselves. A spokeswoman for WeWork declined to comment on the meeting.
Many employees were irate to learn this week of a payout to Neumann for his departure. Claure said he respects Neumann for the company he built but that WeWork needs a different approach, said one of the people in attendance who asked not to be identified because the information was meant only for employees. The co-CEOs, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, were at the meeting but did not speak.