WeWork CFO To Step Down A Week After CEO's Surprise Resignation
WeWork, the embattled coworking giant, is facing its second major executive departure in as many weeks.
WeWork Chief Financial Officer Andre Fernandez will resign on June 1, the company disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He will be replaced by WeWork's chief accounting officer, Kurt Wehner, who joined WeWork in 2020.
Fernandez's resignation was made public eight days after WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani announced he was leaving the company after a three-year run in the top job. Mathrani's last day is Friday, after which point he will join private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
"I would like to thank Andre for his partnership and dedication to the company as he helped to restructure our debt and drive the company towards EBITDA profitability," Mathrani said in a statement. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors. Kurt Wehner’s appointment as CFO will provide important continuity as we focus on executing against our business plan.”
WeWork has lost more than 98% of its value since it went public via a special-purpose acquisition company in the fall of 2020, and its stock was down nearly 8% in Wednesday trading as of midday following the disclosure of Fernandez's departure.
“The resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the Company with respect to any matter relating to financial controls, financial statements or any other operations, policies or practices of the Company,” WeWork stated in the filing.
Fernandez joined WeWork less than a year ago after stints as a principal of media and technology investor Domain Americas and as CFO of NCR Corp., according to his LinkedIn profile. The longtime media executive was the CEO of CBS Radio for two years and served as an executive for NBCUniversal for more than a decade.
Ascending CFO Wehner previously served as the chief accounting officer at Discovery before leaving in December 2019 to join WeWork.
The latest executive turnover comes as WeWork continues to chase its first-ever profitable quarter amid a seismic shift in office usage and demand across the country. WeWork reported a net loss of $264M at the end of the first quarter of this year on top of the $2.3B it lost in 2022.
WeWork recently restructured its debt to reduce its obligations by $1.5B and push back its maturity, a move that analysts said put it on sounder financial footing — but also was seen as a "tantamount to default" by S&P analysts. It is looking to execute a reverse stock split to avoid the threat of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
The company reaffirmed its guidance in its Wednesday filing that it is still on on track to produce between $840M and $865M in revenue in the second quarter.
Some analysts questioned its path forward without Mathrani’s steady leadership. Mizuho Securities Managing Director Vikram Malhotra, for one, downgraded his outlook on the company in the immediate aftermath of the news.
“One of the reasons I finally threw in the towel is that I thought the change would be very disruptive near-term,” Malhotra told Bisnow last week. “The economic situation has only deteriorated in the last two months, and their ability to hit their occupancy numbers is more challenged."