Ousted CEO Adam Neumann didn’t walk away with $1 billion


WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure told CNBC on Monday that the company’s ousted CEO Adam Neumann didn’t walk away with the over $1 billion package that was estimated.

“To say that he has walked away with over a billion dollars is totally false,” said Claure, SoftBank executive and executive chairman of Sprint, in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin.

CNBC reported in October that Neumann was set to get up to $1.7 billion to walk away from the company and give up his voting rights. SoftBank was to pay him up to $970 million for his shares, a $185 million consulting fee and was to offer him $500 million in credit to help repay his loans.

“There’s a tender going on right now in which Adam will have the right to participate with shareholders,” Claure said of Neumann. “He’s a large shareholder of the company, he was a founder, and as we do a tender to buys shares from other shareholders, he’s going to have the same opportunity as any other shareholder.”

Claure added that the two “rarely” talk, but Neumann will call and share his thoughts on the company.

“I think he’s very excited that the business is transitioning from high growth to a more disciplined business with accountability and with a more mature leadership,” Claure said.

In October, SoftBank also struck a deal to take control of WeWork after an attempt to go public led to several tumultuous months. The office-sharing company revealed a $900 million loss in its prospectus; pulled its initial public offering after concerns about a falling valuation and its corporate governance structure as well Neumann’s actions.

Under the agreement, the Japanese conglomerate was to provide $5 billion in new financing and up to $3 billion in a tender offer for existing shareholders. SoftBank also was set to speed up an existing $1.5 billion financing commitment.

WeWork announced earlier this month that Sandeep Mathrani, former Brookfield Properties’ retail group CEO, will take over as chief executive officer on Feb. 18. Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson had stepped in as co-CEOs after Neumann was forced out due to falling valuation and corporate governance structure concerns.

Claure, also a top Softbank Group officer, on Monday said WeWork is aiming to be profitable by a key measure by 2021, with positive free cash flow by 2022. The company hopes to have $1 billion of free cash by 2024.

“We have a plan and now it comes down to execution,” he concluded.



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