October 25, 2019

The Wall Street Journal – WeWork Employee Options Underwater as Ex-CEO Reaps

By Eliot Brown

Adam Neumann stands to receive up to $1.7 billion as part of a deal with SoftBank Group Corp. to step away from office-space startup WeWork. The company’s employees aren’t doing so well.

Thousands of staff are slated to be laid off soon as the company rapidly tries to cut costs and steer the money-losing company toward a path to profit, according to people familiar with the strategy.

For more than 90% of current and former employees, the share price of the SoftBank deal, which values WeWork at about $8 billion, is below the grant price for stock awards and options they hold, former executives said. That means the vast majority of employees would get nothing if they sold their holdings today.

The rich exit deal for Mr. Neumann as SoftBank wrested control of the company from the former chief executive officer this week has led to frustration, current and former employees said.

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