WeWork Leadership: a new start

By John Dudovskiy
February 19, 2023

WeWork leadership has been a controversial topic with co-founder and first CEO Adam Neumann being notorious for deceitful leadership style. In fact, leadership style at WeWork under Neumann is used as a case study in business schools worldwide for its inefficiency at various levels.  The long list of wrongdoings by Neumann includes engaging in insider dealings, burning cash recklessly without a path to profitability, systematically exercising poor executive judgement and allowing discrimination and harassment at the workplace.


We Work Leadership


Neumann had contemplated and it was written in initial company IPO filings that in case he died    his wife Rebekah, the co-founder and the chief brand and impact officer of WeWork, would be responsible for appointing a successor. This scenario reminded some business analysts Game of Thrones show.

Neumann also engaged in non-standard financial dealings that caused conflict of interest. For example, he was borrowing money from WeWork at a little or no interest to privately buy properties and then lease them to WeWork. Similarly, Neumann registered “The We Company” as a trademark under his name personally and sold it to WeWork for USD 6 million. Other unacceptable behaviours by Neumann include brining weed on a private jet, organizing notorious parties with free beer on tap and promoting the work culture of discrimination and sexism.

These and other WeWork leadership issues emerged  when the workspace provider was scrutinized when preparing for IPO in 2019 and the company had to delay the public listing until October 2021. Due to the mounting pressure from investors and other stakeholders following the revelations Adam Neumann had to resign on September 24, 2019. Co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham took over leadership at WeWork until Sandeep Mathrani became CEO in February 2020.

Sandeep Mathrani has an impressive track record as turnaround master and he has led five different companies during his career, including one real estate company. When Mathrani became CEO of General Growth Properties (GGP) in 2011 the company had just gone through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Within seven years at the helm, Mathrani was able to turnaround the business and sell it to Brookfield Property for USD 15 billion. WeWork leadership under Sandeep Mathrani integrates the principles of management flexibility, creating of effective organizational culture and team building.

WeWork Inc. Report contains the above analysis of WeWork leadership. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on WeWork. Moreover, the report contains analyses of WeWork business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of WeWork marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

WeWork Inc. Report 2023

Category: Leadership