WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann is stepping down as CEO as the beleaguered co-working space business seeks to regain its footing after last week’s botched initial public offering, the company said Tuesday.
Neumann will become the nonexecutive chairman of We Co., WeWork’s parent. Vice chairman Sebastian Gunningham and president and chief operating officer Artie Minson will take over as interim co-CEOs. The changes are effective immediately, the company said.
WeWork board members and investors have pressured Neumann to resign in recent days after We Co. postponed last week’s share sale. The failure of the IPO came after We’s value dropped from a reported $47 billion in January to as low as $15 billion.
Under Neumann, WeWork has burned through cash without a clear plan to become profitable. He maintained inordinate control of the company through a multiclass stock structure, spooking potential investors already wary of putting their money into the hands of an at times unpredictable leader.
Neumann’s impulsive decision-making included a headline-making ban on the company paying for or serving meat at company events, leaving other executives scrambling for an explanation.
WeWork’s turmoil echoes the startup strife at ride-hailing company Uber, whose CEO Travis Kalanick had to step down before investors were confident in the company’s ability to sell stock.
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