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OUT OF WEWORK

WeWork will lay off more than 900 employees in New York

The WeWork logo on a glass office door.
REUTERS/Kate Munsch
Woe is we.
Alison Griswold
By Alison Griswold

Reporter

When WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann lost his job, he walked away with a billion-dollar exit package. Many of his former employees aren’t so lucky.

In late November, WeWork said it would lay off around 2,400 employees, or nearly 20% of its global staff. This followed a failed IPO and steep decline in the company’s valuation. The job cuts will include 911 employees in New York state, according to a notice WeWork filed with the state and amended recently. Although the affected employees have already been notified, the separations in New York are expected to occur in late February and early March 2020, with roughly 260 employees offered transitional jobs at a third-party vendor.

The majority of the New York cuts—more than 400 jobs—are planned for WeWork’s corporate headquarters in Manhattan. That’s followed by 250 jobs at 85 Broad Street, a high rise formerly occupied by Goldman Sachs in New York City’s Financial District. WeWork rents out five floors in 85 Broad Street, with assigned desks starting at $560 a month and private offices at $840 a month. Rise by We, the luxury gym WeWork opened in 2017, also operates out of 85 Broad Street.

New York City is one of its biggest markets.

WeWork declined to comment on the record.

The dramatic unraveling of WeWork—or The We Company, as it is now known—began in August after it filed to go public. The filing revealed a raft of curious and troubling dealings at the company, then valued by private investors at $47 billion. A month later, WeWork pushed out Neumann and pulled its IPO. Its valuation crashed to $8 billion. SoftBank, WeWork’s biggest investor, swooped in with a $10 billion rescue deal and installed its own executive, former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, as WeWork’s executive chairman. Neumann’s final exit package included a $185 million “consulting contract.”

Layoffs were immediately put on the table. “Are there going to be layoffs? Yes. How many? I don’t know. It’s day one,” Claure told WeWork staff at an all-hands meeting in October. “We’re going to make sure that they leave with dignity, that we’re taking proper care of them, and that we’re rewarding them for them having taken a chance on WeWork.” The day after WeWork announced it would lay off 2,400 people, Claure was spotted dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City.

WeWork’s global job cuts will also include 169 employees in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week.

Correction (Dec. 13): An earlier version of this post misstated the total layoffs in New York as presented in the filing. It is 911 layoffs in New York, not 414. The headline and table have also been updated to reflect this.

Update (Dec. 12): This post was updated to reflect the numbers and dates in WeWork’s amended filing, and details about the timing of the layoffs’ announcement, notification of employees, and planned separations.

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