Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group reportedly wants to oust Adam Neumann as the CEO of WeWork, a US firm that provides shared workspaces for startups. WeWork directors were planning an immediate board meeting this week to discuss the details of removing Neumann.
“Certain members of WeWork’s seven-person board are planning to pressure Neumann to step down and instead become WeWork’s non-executive chairman,” TechCrunch reported on Sunday quoting the Wall Street Journal as saying.
The move “would allow him to stay at the company he built into one of the country’s most valuable startups, but inject fresh leadership to pursue an IPO that would bring WeWork the cash it needs to keep up its torrid growth”.
SoftBank and its associated Vision Fund is WeWork’s largest shareholder.
SoftBank CEO Masa Son is apparently in favour of ousting Neumann.
According to CNBC, WeWork views Son’s move against Neumann as an effort to prevent the company from going public.
The board is expected to potentially discuss making Neumann WeWork’s non-executive chairman.
Neither SoftBank nor WeWork made any official comment on the reports.
WeWork, which has officially changed its name to the We Company, lost $1.93 billion (roughly Rs. 13,700 crores) in 2018 over sales of $1.82 billion. The We Company has faced concerns about its corporate governance standards, as well as the sustainability of its business model.