Ousted WeWork boss drops effort to return

Adam Neumann in profileImage source, Getty Images
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Former WeWork boss Adam Neumann said he is moving on after trying to buy the bankrupt company that specialises in shared office spaces.

Mr Neumann had revealed his interest in buying the firm earlier this year, reportedly offering some $500m (£391m).

At the time, he accused the firm of resisting the idea despite its financial issues.

WeWork recently submitted a plan to emerge from bankruptcy, which it said would help reduce its rent burden by billions of dollars.

In a statement on Tuesday Mr Neumann, who now leads a new property firm called Flow, criticised his former company's plans.

“For several months, we tried to work constructively with WeWork to create a strategy that would allow it to thrive," he said in a statement, which was first reported by the New York Times.

"Instead, the company looks to be emerging from bankruptcy with a plan that appears unrealistic and unlikely to succeed.”

WeWork declined to comment.

Mr Neumann made his name steering WeWork on a breakneck global expansion, which he promised would revolutionise the office property sector.

But the growth proved too costly to sustain, leaving the firm with multi-billion dollar losses.

Mr Neumann was ousted in 2019, after his effort to list the company on the stock exchange revealed cracks in its business model and drew scrutiny of his leadership.

His fall from grace was later portrayed in the Apple TV series WeCrashed.

Mr Neumann, whose exit from WeWork was accompanied by a significant payout, soon bounced back, winning backing from famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz for his new company.

But WeWork, once privately valued at nearly $50bn (£39bn) and hailed as the future of the office, continued to struggle especially after the pandemic shut down offices and gave rise to remote work, often from home.

It filed for bankruptcy last November, seeking court protection as it tried to reduce its rent burden.

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