Adam Neumann, the charismatic entrepreneur who led WeWork to become one of the world’s most valuable startups, stepped down as chief executive officer after a plan to take the company public hit a wall.
Members of WeWork’s board had been pressuring Adam Neumann in recent days to resign and take a new role as non-executive chairman. The move is designed to salvage an initial public offering, which had been met with immediate scorn from public investors. A litany of apparent conflicts of interest and Adam Neumann’s propensity to burn through capital were chief concerns.
“While our business has never been stronger, in recent weeks, the scrutiny directed toward me has become a significant distraction,” Adam Neumann said in a statement Tuesday. “I have decided that it is in the best interest of the company to step down as chief executive.”
Two senior WeWork executives, Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, were appointed as co-CEOs. WeWork’s parent company, We Co., intends to push ahead with the IPO, but some people briefed on the deliberations said it’s unlikely to take place next month as planned. The new CEOs said in a statement that they will be “evaluating the optimal timing for an IPO.”