WeWork parted ways with Sean Black a week after the executive made disparaging remarks about Jersey City, one of WeWork’s newest markets.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Black was fired or whether he resigned, or whether his comments played a role in his departure. Black and WeWork declined to comment.
At a panel discussion last week, Black said: “If you look at Jersey City, it’s so far ahead relative to a lot of different product it has, but it doesn’t have life, it doesn’t have vibrancy, it’s not cool, it’s got no vibe.” As it happens, WeWork plans to open a 101,000-square-foot co-working space in Kushner Companies’ Jersey City tower One Journal Square. It was also mulling opening a WeLive co-living space in the building.
Black’s remarks drew outrage from Jersey City residents. Local councilwoman Candice Osborne went on a tweetstorm Saturday, sending WeWork’s account images of Jersey City to showcase its vibrancy.
“Confusing… is WeWork no longer taking $59M tax abatement & 100,000SF in JSQ Jersey City?” one Twitter user commented on Thursday. “Sean Black and @wework can get out of Jersey City and stay out,” tweeted another.
Black, a former Olympic boxer, joined WeWork in March after less than a year as a leasing broker at Cushman & Wakefield. At WeWork, he was an executive vice president tasked with overseeing the firm’s expansion in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston. Prior to Cushman, he spent six years as a leasing broker at JLL, working with tenants such as Foursquare and Business Insider.
Manhattan Office Leasing – November 2015 to October 2016 – 700+ transactions – $100
Manhattan Office Leasing – November 2011 to October 2016 – 3500+ transactions – $500