Meet the team

The New Team Behind WeWork's Second Public Offering

By Sarah Hallam

Last updated: Feb 15, 2023

WeWork's first attempt at an initial public offering in 2019 led to its downfall and the embarrassing ejection of its founder and former CEO Adam Neumann from the business. Now the company is trying again, this time with a brand new leadership team it's spent the past two years building up. Take a look at who will be guiding the company through an IPO this time around.

The first time WeWork attempted to go public, it was still led by its boisterous and reckless former-leader Adam Neumann.

After publicly filing its IPO paperwork in August 2019, WeWork, which was valued at a whopping $47 billion at the time, faced intense scrutiny over its finances and path to profitability from investors and the media. What should’ve been one of the largest public listings of the decade turned into a fiasco: the IPO failed, Neumann stepped down as CEO, SoftBank (its largest investor) took control of the company and paid Neumann a multi-million dollar bailout package which includes him stepping down from his chairman role later this year.

In the wake of this disastrous period, the shared office real-estate company has had to completely reinvent itself from the ground up. Two temporary CEOs have passed through to help stabilize the cash-strapped company before real estate veteran Sandeep Mathrani officially took over in February in 2020.

Now, it’s preparing to go public again, this time through a SPAC merger that is valued at $9 billion — giving WeWork $1.3 billion in cash. The Org analyzed its org chart to look into the executives taking the company public a second time around.

WeWork Org Chart

Sandeep Mathrani now leads the company as CEO. He is a longtime real estate executive, experienced in the traditional processes of retail and office space. Previously, he was the CEO of Brookfield Properties Group and before that was CEO of GGP for eight years before it was folded into Brookfield.

Mathrani’s hire was strategic, with the company needing an “adult” in the room, and one with deep real estate experience and a sobering image to the raucous, party-boy image that its former CEO carried.

He took over the helm in February 2020, shortly after the IPO fiasco that ejected Neumann and left the company facing bankruptcy.

Since stepping into the role, COVID-19 and remote working has been the biggest challenge facing the company. Despite the obvious hurdles of working in a shared space brings, Mathrani said in January of this year that the company would be on track to be profitable by the fourth quarter this year. He doubled down a few months later that "the least-engaged" employees at companies would continue working from home, an insight that in fact would significantly bolster his business model if proven true.

WeWork’s new Chief Operating Officer and President is another old school executive, Shyam Gidumal. He replaced Kimberly Ross, the former COO who left six months into taking the role after starting the job in March 2020.

Gidumal most recently worked as a principal partner at EY on the consumer products and retail team. He built most of his career foundation as a partner of the Boston Consulting Group. Gidumal was an attractive COO because of his officer experience at both private and public companies.

Not everyone on the leadership team was from outside the company though. Benjamin Dunham was appointed CFO at WeWork in October 2020 after serving as CFO of WeWork Americas for the past two years. He carries some significant financial experience. Prior to joining WeWork in 2018, he spent 12 years with Yum! Brands, where, during his tenure, he served as the CFO of Pizza Hut Asia and Head of Finance for Pizza Hut United States. He also spent five years at Macy’s. There was also upheaval with WeWork’s former COO Kimberly Ross, who left six months into taking the role after starting the job in March 2020.

President Anthony Yazbeck is another old-timer. Yazbeck started with the company five years ago as the COO of Europe, Asia and Pacific at WeWork’s London office. Yazbeck’s team focuses on the core growth strategy for WeWork, which now involves navigating the changing work landscape scarred by the coronavirus pandemic.

WeWork has always struggled to define itself as a tech company, which it did in the previous decade despite not having any tangible product.

In June, its most recent Chief Technology Officer Ken Watson left after two years with the company. He was promoted from VP of Engineering in March 2020, and previously worked as CTO at Lionbridge. His departure caused a full reorganization of WeWork’s tech teams, including the creation of a new role to oversee product management and design. Watson oversaw a division that ran software for over 800 locations and an app for the company’s nearly 500,000 customers.

One of the newest hires to the new WeWork leadership team is Scott Morey, President of Technology & Innovation. Morey will be overseeing the new role for product management and design that was created with Watson’s departure. While his background isn’t exactly technical, it's rife with strategy and execution experience. Morey previously worked as Executive Director of One11 Advisors, a management consulting firm based in Chicago. He has 30 years of management, operational and board level experience, an attractive background for a team rebuilding its reporting structure from the top down.

Hamid Hashemi leads a team of 280 as Chief Product & Experience Officer. He has over 30 years of experience developing and operating entertainment-based social destinations in the U.S. and abroad, most recently as the founder and CEO of IPic Entertainment. Hashemi was brought on board in March 2020 as part of the “transformational team” that reversed WeWork’s underperformance and introduced new business lines.

The deal between WeWork and BowX Acquisition Corp. is expected to close on October 20, with shares beginning to trade on the New York Stock Exchange on October 21.

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