WeWork Reveals 90-Day Turnaround Plan, Hunts For New CEO
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Fresh off its rescue at the hands of new majority owner SoftBank Group, the company released a 50-page, "90-day game plan" on its website. It shared the plan to reverse its spiraling fortunes after presenting it to investors in October, CNBC reports. The primary focus of the plan is to divest from all "non-core businesses" and trim its employee numbers.
WeWork will look to sell such investments as female-focused coworking operation The Wing, social gathering network Meetup and Wave Garden, a wave pool-making company for which WeWork's investment was considered an example of Neumann's capricious decision-making at the company's helm, CNBC reports. In its presentation, WeWork referred to such moves as "founder-driven" and "distracted."
Though the company confirmed in its presentation that it will undertake layoffs, it said "community teams," the employees responsible for managing individual WeWork locations, will not be affected. Though it will not maintain its previously furious pace of leasing, WeWork hopes the results of that binge will begin producing revenue — the company expects to bring a record number of desks online in Q4, according to the presentation.
Not included in the official plan, but perhaps just as significant to its imminent future, is WeWork's search for a CEO. After Neumann's departure, executives Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson were elevated to co-CEOs, but SoftBank-installed Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure has declined to commit to them long-term, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Among the potential candidates for the chief executive position is T-Mobile CEO John Legere, the WSJ reports. T-Mobile, the third-largest cellphone carrier in the U.S., has revenue and value far greater than WeWork, but has a significant connection to SoftBank that lends Legere's reported candidacy an air of credibility.
T-Mobile has been trying for years to gain permission from the federal government to acquire competitor Sprint in what would be an expected $26B deal. SoftBank owns over 80% of Sprint, and Claure still retains the title of executive chairman at Sprint after being named to the same position at WeWork.
Regardless of how the CEO search pans out, the connections to Sprint and the 90-day recovery plan bear the fingerprints of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who recently said WeWork's path to profitability under his company's ownership would be "simple."