As Adam Neumann reportedly faces pressure to step down, it’s looking like a fight for life between WeWork and SoftBank
According to a new WSJ report, certain members of WeWork’s seven-person board, which includes cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann, are planning to pressure Neumann to step down and instead become We’s non-executive chairman. The move, says the outlet that “would allow him to stay 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 We the cash it needs to keep up its torrid growth.”
The WSJ, and Bloomberg are reporting that it is SoftBank specifically that wants Neumann to step down. Neither WeWork nor SoftBank is commenting publicly.
It’s a fascinating development, the kind we saw when Uber’s board successfully forced cofounder and longtime CEO Travis Kalanick to abandon his role as CEO. Still, we’d caution against drawing too close a comparison. While the venture firm Benchmark, which spearheaded Kalanick’s ouster, stood to lose billions of dollars if Kalanick dragged down Uber and continued to push off an IPO, Benchmark was not in a do-or-die situation because of its Uber investment.
SoftBank appears to be in more dire straights, making this standoff a particularly meaningful one.
Let’s back up a minute first,
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