The Real Deal New York

WeWork sues ex-employee for allegedly leaking financial docs to Bloomberg

Co-working giant alleges Joanna Strange used superior's password and leaked confidential info to news site

July 15, 2016 06:43PM
By Konrad Putzier

From left: Joann Strange, Adam Neumann and David Fano

From left: Joann Strange, Adam Neumann and David Fano

WeWork is suing a former employee for allegedly stealing “confidential financial information” and leaking it to Bloomberg News, according to a complaint filed with the New York Supreme Court Friday.

Although the complaint doesn’t mention a specific news article, it appears to stem from a Bloomberg story published Friday. The story, written by Bloomberg reporter Ellen Huet and citing a leaked financial review document and videos, claimed WeWork recently slashed its profit and revenue projections for 2016 and that WeWork CEO Adam Neumann demanded his employees rein in spending. In a statement in response to the article, WeWork claimed that the leaked documents were stolen and that it is “pursuing all legal avenues to protect our company’s confidential information.”

In the suit, WeWork TRData LogoTINY claims that Joanna Strange used a WeWork executive’s username and password to log into the company’s system and steal financial documents after she was fired.

WeWork claims that Strange violated a “restrictive covenant agreement” she signed, and seeks unspecified damages.

Strange worked as a business manager for Case, a building information company. When WeWork acquired Case last year, she became a WeWork employee until she was terminated on June 10. According to the complaint, Strange used the password and username of David Fano, Case’s founder and now WeWork’s chief development officer, “without his knowledge” to access WeWork’s computer system after she learned she would be fired. She then leaked the information to Bloomberg.

Strange couldn’t be reached for comment, and a representative for Bloomberg didn’t respond to a request for comment.

In an internal email to WeWork’s employees from earlier this week that was leaked to The Real Deal, the company wrote: “We regret to inform you that we have identified a case of significant corporate theft of electronic materials.  Because of security measures our team has implemented, we have identified the person responsible, and are taking appropriate actions.  There may be stories in the press that include information from the stolen materials or refers to the legal actions we are taking.  When possible we will always try to communicate information like this internally before it becomes public. “

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