The Real Deal New York

WeWork, the coworking startup valued at $16 billion, is cutting employees and freezing hiring

June 04, 2016 10:00AM
By Business Insider

Adam Neumann at WeWork’s 175 Varick Street location

Adam Neumann at WeWork’s 175 Varick Street location

WeWork plans to cut 7 percent of its staff after placing a pause on hiring. But WeWork claims that the planned cuts are part of a realignment, and that the hiring stop might be lifted as soon as next week.

“WeWork’s growth and expansion continues to accelerate and we expect to add hundreds of employees between now and the end of the year. Recent employee actions were part of the company’s talent review process to ensure that we have the right teams in place that align with the company’s priorities,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.

Bloomberg said that the company had more than 1,000 employees, citing data from Mattermark. WeWork remains on track to hire another 500 this year, even with the talent review that happens twice a year.

The coworking startup has built a $16 billion business by renting out desks and office space, while creating a community and providing all the amenities, from printers to beer taps on every floor. But the startup’s sights are on something larger than being an office-space provider.

The company is now valued at $16 billion because of its vision to recreate that community feeling elsewhere. WeWork recently launched its co-living venture, WeLive, with locations in New York City and outside Washington, DC. It’s also actively expanding into Asia.

But its decision to trim staff and pause hiring — even if momentarily — comes at a time when startup funding is harder to come by and companies are tinkering with their business models.

Postmates recently removed some of its local community managers, opting to allow remote employees to oversee certain markets. Munchery, another food-delivery company, changed its business model in April.

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