WeWork Real Estate Execs Join Exodus From Company
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WeWork, The We Company's main operation, announced last week that it was parting ways with Sarah Pontius, its global head of real estate partnerships, The Real Deal reports. The split was a "mutual agreement," WeWork said in a statement.
Just days later, Wendy Silverstein announced that she was stepping down from her position as co-head of ARK, WeWork's property investment fund, TRD reports. ARK Managing Director Rich Gomel will assume full control of the fund, which may be joined by JPMorgan Chase executive Larry Fuchs.
Pontius and Silverstein both joined WeWork in November 2018, with Pontius coming over from CBRE, where she was a senior vice president. Before CBRE, Pontius had spent 10 years at Brookfield Property Partners, rising to the rank of vice president. Silverstein had worked as the CEO of New York REIT and the head of capital markets for Vornado.
Silverstein and Pontius are only the latest to leave in a months-long string of departures. Since July, the company has lost Vice President of Communications Dominic McMullan, Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Skyler, Chief Brand Officer Julie Rice (who had previously co-founded SoulCycle) and Global Head of Business and Financial Operations Ted Stedem, TRD reports.
The exodus of executives has coincided with a rash of setbacks and controversy surrounding The We Company after its IPO prospectus revealed a financial picture and organizational structure that was met with derision by the investment and coworking community.
Despite WeWork reaching a private valuation of $47B, reception to its IPO has been so chilly that it was reportedly considering setting a valuation as low as $10B before it decided to pull its offering for at least a month. SoftBank, the startup's main private investor, had reportedly been pressuring WeWork to cancel the IPO in order to preserve the value of the billions it had poured into the company through its Vision Fund.