- WeWork co-founder and chief culture officer Miguel McKelvey announced he will be stepping down from the office-sharing startup at the end of the month
WeWork co-founder and chief culture officer Miguel McKelvey announced he will be stepping down from the office-sharing startup at the end of the month. McKelvey’s departure is coming at a time when the commercial real estate market has taken a major hit due to the stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many WeWork clients indicate that they will not be renewing, including IBM’s lease in New York.
“After 10 years, I’ve made one of the most difficult decisions of my life – one that I’m not even sure has sunk in just yet. But at the end of this month, I’ll be leaving WeWork #wework. While it’s hard to leave, and I know there is a lot more work to be done, I could only make this decision knowing this company and our people are in good hands,” said McKelvey in a LinkedIn post.
WeWork — which is controlled by the Japanese holding company SoftBank — is in the midst of a five-year turnaround plan under the leadership of Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. Claure — who is an executive at SoftBank — hired several executives to help turn the company around, including such as CEO Sandeep Mathrani.
Originally, WeWork was planning to go public last year. However, the prospectus revealed how fast WeWork was taking losses. Analysts were estimating at the time that WeWork would have run out of money by now based on its growth rate. And the company had $2.5 billion in cash as of the end of June 2019.
We’s co-founder Adam Neumann had resigned in September 2019. Investors were not impressed with Neumann’s handling of the IPO and he allegedly had a number of conflicts of interest. Last month, Neumann sued SoftBank for walking from a $3 billion share buyout plan. SoftBank had invested over $13.5 billion in WeWork. And in November 2019, SoftBank Group wrote down $9.2 billion on WeWork.
Prior to launching WeWork in 2009, McKelvey founded a company called Green Desk — which provides rental office space in Brooklyn.