On the heels of a $760 million cash infusion that valued WeWork at around $20 billion, the co-working giant is shaking up its management team.
The hierarchy of the new structure is murky, but Jennifer Berrent — who was the company’s chief cultural officer — has ascended to the role of COO. The job was previously held by Artie Minson, a Time Warner Cable CFO who was tapped as WeWork’s president and COO in 2015. (Minson’s LinkedIn profile still says he is president and COO.) Meanwhile, Miguel McKelvey — who co-founded WeWork eight years ago with CEO Adam Neumann — will take on the chief cultural officer role from Berrent.
On Tuesday, Berrent told TechCrunch that over the past year, her job had evolved to the point where she was already overseeing several departments — including public affairs, legal, global partnerships and strategic events and planning. For his part, McKelvey said his role in directing all of design, architecture and construction, had become “purely reactive” and he said he wanted to spend more time on the company’s human resources and to “proactively think about the organization and ways to help our members.”
But the shakeup is just the latest in a series of management restructuring over the past year that sources have attributed to WeWork’s preparation for a public offering. Last month, Spotify engineer Laurent Paris joined WeWork as CTO, reporting to Neumann. In February, WeWork hired former Starwood executive Richard Gomel to head the co-working business, while James Woods, a longtime head of Brooklyn Bowl, was tapped as the head of the startup’s co-living line WeLive.
WeWork just closed a $760 million Series G funding round that values the co-working firm at around $20 billion, eclipsing Boston Properties and Vornado Realty Trust. (They’re valued at $18.25 billion and $17.7 billion, respectively.)
The latest round follows a $300 million cash infusion by Japanese banking giant Softbank in March. Last month, Neumann confirmed plans for WeWork to go public, but he declined to say when or where. [TechCrunch] — E.B. Solomont