Tech unicorns participated in multi-billion-dollar IPOs in 2019, often disappointing investors. However, there is one IPO that has taken the entire startup community by storm- WeWork. The parent company of the co-working space provider, The We Company, is under immense pressure from investors to conduct a public offering before the end of the year. However, it is also being pestered to remove founder-CEO Adam Neumann.
Could T-Mobile’s John Legere be a good fit?
According to management specialist and Yale University professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, T-Mobile (TMUS) Chief Executive John Legere is the perfect candidate for replacing Neumann at WeWork. Appearing at CNBC’s Closing Bell, the founder of Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Sonnenfeld said the Legere could be the “perfect guy for the job.”
He noted that Legere is good for resurrecting or reviving companies. He has previously worked at Global Crossing Ltd. and helped it revive itself after an accounting scandal brought disgrace for the company. Then he joined T-Mobile, where he helped build a great brand after AT&T (T) decided that it isn’t interested in buying its business.
Since WeWork is in quite a mess, Legere could come and help the company get back on its field. Sonnenfeld was confident that he was the only guy who could figure something out from the mess while adding, “I think he shouldn’t, but I think he would.”
Neumann steps down
Adam Neumann, the founder and CEO of has already resigned from his post. He was at the center of a controversy that questioned the governance structure of the company as well as its valuation. Neumann said that he had plans to raise the “consciousness” of the world via his company. He and his family have a close relationship with the firm, and he even owns some properties leased out to the company.
Investors were not satisfied with the valuation of the company. WeWork was last privately valued at $47 billion but had to come down to $20 billion for a public offering. Investors still remained passive and didn’t warm up to the company.
As of now, two experienced people who recently joined the company will be taking over the lead at WeWork to work as co-CEOs. The first is their CFO Artie Minson, who is a former Time Warner Cable and AOL executive. The second is Sebastian Gunningham, the Vice Chairman of WeWork and a former Amazon executive. Now the company may look at serious governance revamp and try to appeal to investors yet again in hopes of finding takers in the market.