WeWork lays off 250 more employees, but Covid-19 isn’t reason

Latest round was reportedly unrelated to the worsening pandemic

WeWork chairman Marcelo Claure (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WeWork chairman Marcelo Claure (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WeWork laid off 250 more people on Thursday, but the decision was not made because of the coronavirus.

The beleaguered co-working giant cut the jobs in its development department, according to Bloomberg. WeWork was trying to reduce its expenses dramatically last fall after its botched IPO attempt and stopped leasing as many locations, which reduced the need for remodeling and construction.

The employees will receive four months of salary and benefits or six months if they have been with the firm for more than four years.

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The company faces a tough road ahead. SoftBank, its majority owner, threatened to unravel part of its $3 billion deal last week to buy shares back from employees and investors.

The deal would primarily benefit just five investors, with $2.1 billion in proceeds from the purchases slated to go to them, according to Bloomberg. The venture capital firm Benchmark is trying to sell up to $600 million worth of shares, while WeWork co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann could sell up to $970 million in the deal.

The deal’s other top sellers include investor T. Rowe Price Group, former WeWork Chief Financial Officer Ariel Tiger and another venture capital firm.

SoftBank was scheduled to close on its stock buyback April 1, but the firm has said it is not obligated to go through with it due to ongoing government investigations into WeWork. The co-working firm is considering legal action against SoftBank if it doesn’t follow through with its buyback plan. [Bloomberg] — Eddie Small