WeWork plans “more disciplined business” (aka cuts)

Executives told staff more layoffs are coming by the end of May

TRD NATIONAL /
Apr.April 15, 2020 11:00 AM
A photo illustration of WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (Illustration by The Real Deal)

A photo illustration of WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (Illustration by The Real Deal)

WeWork says there’s still more fat to trim and, while holding another round of layoffs over employees, advised them to cut it themselves.

In a staff meeting Tuesday, the co-working firm’s CEO Sandeep Mathrani announced more staff reductions would be made by the end of May, according to a leaked recording reported by Bloomberg.

“I know there is much speculation about how deep the cuts will be,” Mathrani was recorded saying. “People are looking for a percentage or a number. The reality is, we’re looking at all of it.”

“I want to do it once and know we have a company we can all move forward with,” he continued.

The troubled firm’s chief financial officer, Kimberly Ross, also encouraged staff to proactively make cuts themselves.

“Do not wait to be asked to cut expenses. Be proactive. If you see waste, eliminate it. If you see unnecessary spending, stop it,” she said. “Let me be very clear: With or without Covid, we need to run a more disciplined business.”

WeWork has jettisoned hundreds of employees in recent months as part of broad cost-cutting following its botched initial public offering effort last summer. The first round of cuts began in November and two subsequent layoff announcements came in early and late March.

Mathrani joined WeWork in February and is tasked with righting the ship in the wake of the ouster of the firm’s co-founder and former chief executive Adam Neumann.

Marcelo Claure, the chief operating officer at Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group and WeWork’s executive chairman, took part in the virtual meeting and said SoftBank was “100 percent behind us” in the cost-cutting. His comments come a week after WeWork sued SoftBank — its largest investor — for pulling out of its agreement to buy $3 billion worth of WeWork shares.

[Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson


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