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WeWork’s Former Chief Neumann Voted Against Himself To Get Himself Ousted: Reuters

WeWork’s Former Chief Neumann Voted Against Himself To Get Himself Ousted: Reuters
The now former chief executive of the United States based office space renting company WeWork – Adam Neumann, voted against himself to remove himself from the position during a voting at the board of directors on Tuesday, after the company failed to get listed in the stock exchange, claimed a report from Reuters quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.
The removal of Neumann, the co-founder of the company, was a concerted effort by investors of the company which was led by its biggest investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. The coup for the removal of the founder of WeWork was led by CEO of the SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, reported Reuters. Neumann however still remains the non-executive chairman of the company even after he had given up majority control in the firm.
The move to ouster Neumann from WeWork began after the efforts of its parent company, the We Company, was forced to postpone an initial public last week offering even after months of  preparations for it, because of lack of interest from investors and concerns among them about the corporate governance of the company and leadership of Neumann. The valuation of WeWork, which was valued at over $47 billion in the latest investment made by SoftBank in the company, fell to about less than one third when the company decided to go public.
The SoftBank was reportedly shocked by the huge drop in valuation of the company. The Japanese firm had invested more than $10 billion into WeWork. At the market valuation at which SotBank has last invested in the company, it was considered to be the fourth-most valuable private startup in the world according to estimates based on data firm CB Insights. According to reports, the valuation of WeWork at the time of its IPO was estimated to be as low as $10 billion.
According to the Reuters report, the groundwork for Neumann’s ouster was being laid by some WeWork directors by last weekend. There are seven members in the board of the company.
Considering that the perception of the image of WeWork was closely reflective of the flamboyant, freewheeling Israel-born entrepreneur, this sudden, quick and smooth ouster of Neumann may appear to be unthinkable for some. The mission of the company under Neumann was to “elevate the world’s consciousness.”
The Reuters report quoted a source saying that the directors in favor of removal of Neumann sent a stern message to him saying:  “Listen, this IPO has gotten distracted by you.”
The report said that Neumann himself though that his departure as the chief executive of the company was in the best interest of the company and therefore agreed to the proposal of the board to remove him from the post. There have been reports earlier that about a quarter of WeWork is owned by Neumann and much of his wealth is tied to the company. There has been no official word form WeWork about the percentage of ownership of the company belonging to Neumann.
There were no comments from Neumann mentioned in the Reuters report which claimed that tat the former chief executive of the company did not respond to calls and emails for requests for an interview and comment. There were also no comments available from SoftBank and WeWork.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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