We Co. is trying to right its ship with new leadership after Adam Neumann stepped down as chief executive. We’s new co-chief executives, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, are planning to chart a new course for the company. They are hoping to move the company past the corporate-governance issues that have in part derailed its initial public offering.
One of the first actions being taken is removing nearly 20 friends and family members of Mr. Neumann and his wife, Rebekah Neumann, from the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Neumann, a co-founder and chief brand and impact officer, is departing, along with some of the 10-plus staffers who worked directly with Mr. Neumann Vice Chairman Michael Gross, a longtime friend of Mr. Neumann’s, and Chris Hill, the company’s chief product officer who is also Ms. Neumann’s brother-in-law, are both expected to depart.
The company is planning to pare its headcount of more than 12,000 staff by thousands of positions. It is also looking to offload three businesses it has purchased in recent years: event-planning website Meetup.com, search-engine optimization company Conductor, and Managed by Q. We spent over $500 million buying Meetup and Conductor. Other assets slated for the auction block include the company’s Gulfstream G650ER, a top-of-the-line private jet bought for more than $60 million last year.
People familiar with the matter say that the goal is to create a more efficient company for a public offering. We was recently forced to shelve its highly anticipated initial public offering when prospective investors showed concerns about its valuation and governance. If We completes its IPO by the end of the year, it will get access to a $6 billion line of credit from banks.
One week after We delayed its initial public offering, S&P Ratings downgraded WeWork’s credit. The rating dropped one notch, to B- from B, due to the company’s “less than adequate” liquidity. The credit analysts questioned the company’s new management and governance structure and said WeWork could run out of cash by early next year.