The Daily Dirt: Is Adam in or out at WeWork?

TRD New York /
Sep.September 24, 2019 11:15 AM
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

No Adam in We? Can it be?

In the past month, the We Company has taken several steps to reduce CEO Adam Neumann’s hold on the firm he founded. It reached an agreement with Neumann to have him return a $5.9 million payment he received for the use of the “We” trademark. His wife can no longer pick his successor should he die or become incapacitated, and the company has also limited Neumann’s voting power.

Then, last week, a Wall Street Journal profile revealed that Adam smoked weed on a plane, causing the jet’s owner to recall the aircraft. No one has explicitly said that being high on a plane — or Neumann’s wanting to live forever, bring WeWork to Mars or become “president of the world” —  was the final straw, but it didn’t exactly calm pre-IPO jitters. SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son and other directors are reportedly pushing for Neumann’s ouster. If this were to happen, Neumann would move into a non-executive chairman role, MSNBC reports. 

Other companies, including Uber, have changed CEOs ahead of going public. And controversial CEOs of publicly traded companies have survived: Elon Musk has remained at the helm of Tesla despite repeatedly making investors nervous with erratic behavior, such as triggering a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation with a single tweet. For now, the fate of the Neumann — and We’s IPO, which is supposed to happen before the end of the year — remain uncertain. 

“What can get these guys in trouble is their egos and arrogance,” Ray Mikulich, the chairman of commercial real estate software giant Altus Group and Colony Capital board member, told reporter David Jeans. “The skills and attributes that make a founder successful are not necessarily well suited for a public environment.”

Rudy Giuliani is in the middle of an ugly divorce. There are, as you might imagine, many luxury properties involved. 

Earlier this year, Judith Giuliani refused to leave the couple’s Upper East Side co-op at 45 East 66th Street. But in May, the two agreed that Rudy would get to live there and Judy would move to their Hamptons home at 353 Lopers Path until they reached a divorce deal, the New York Post reported at the time. 

The couple also owns two condos in Palm Beach, Fla., Sylvia Varnham O’Regan reports. The two haven’t been able to reach an agreement on how to divide their assets, so they are headed to trial in January.  

What we’re thinking about next: Will Industry City ever be rezoned? Send a note to  [email protected]

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Monday was for a condo unit at 15 Hudson Yards, at $8.6 million.
Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing was for an office building at 345 Park Avenue South in Midtown, at $345 million. RFR Realty is the seller. The buyer, Deerfield, plans to convert the building into lab space for the life sciences industry.

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 22,114-square-foot residential building at 2358 Pitkin Avenue in East New York. HPD filed the permit application.

The priciest listing to hit the market was for a condo unit at 100 East 53rd Street in Midtown, at $29.8 million. Compass’ James Cox Jr. has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned… There’s a 12-square-block section of Brooklyn called “the Hole.” It’s a dozen feet below street level and was once used as a mafia burial ground, according to Newsweek. The Hole overlaps the Queens border, and if you look it up on Google Maps, the street view is a giant puddle. 

Top stories from our other markets:

Episode 2 of TRD‘s spinoff series of the magazine column “By the Numbers” focuses on Related founder and majority owner Stephen Ross. This episode tallies up the most fascinating stats about his real estate empire, which stretches far beyond Hudson Yards. Watch the video to find out more.

Buyers of downtown office properties in Chicago are spoiled for choice, and now there’s even more product to choose from. South Korean investor Mirae Asset Global Management has put 225 West Wacker Drive office tower on the market for $245 million, or about $370 a square foot.

An expansive and completely rebuilt mansion that claims to have the biggest zero-edge infinity pool in Beverly Hills has been treading water on the market for more than a year. Now, owner and developer Gala Asher has slashed the $135 million asking price by 18 percent, the latest major price reduction to hit the uber-luxury market.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels revealed the site of its first Miami hotel, a 40-story property in the Brickell neighborhood, with plans for a co-living component. The hotel is one of at least two that Virgin Hotels plans to operate in the Miami area. — Compiled by Alexi Friedman


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