Amol Sarva trashes Newmark after ouster from Knotel

Exiled co-founder says brokerage damaged relationships with landlords, clients

Knotel CEO Amol Sarva and Newmark CEO Barry Gosin (Sarva via Sasha Maslov; Gosin via Newmark)
Knotel CEO Amol Sarva and Newmark CEO Barry Gosin (Sarva via Sasha Maslov; Gosin via Newmark)

Knotel co-founder Amol Sarva took some shots at its new owner, Newmark, on his way out the door of the flex office company he ran into the ground.

In a blistering email Friday evening, Sarva accused the brokerage of using the bankruptcy process to take over the once high-flying Knotel and damaging the company’s relationships.

In months leading up to its bankruptcy filing in February, Knotel angered many of its landlords by refusing to pay rent, torching relationships along the way. SL Green, Manhattan’s largest office landlord, said it would never do business with the firm again.

Sarva, in his letter, laid the blame at Newmark’s feet.

“This process undermined lots of important relationships and hurt lots of customers and partners,” he wrote. “I’m so disappointed that this was the direction pressed.”

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To run Knotel in Sarva’s place, Newmark hired former WeWork vice chairman Michael Gross and a pair of other executives connected to WeWork, the co-working rival that Sarva once trolled by parking a bus outside its headquarters.

Sarva, referring to Newmark’s business decisions and former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, claimed in his letter that it was his choice to leave Knotel.

“The process made clear to me that I would not choose to be part of the new owners’ way of moving forward,” he wrote. “Only to confirm that judgment, they have literally hired a group of Adam Neuman[n]–era WeWork bros to lead the company forward.”

The Knotel co-founder added that he was planning another startup, but would not yet say in what field.

Sarva and a representative from Newmark were not immediately available to comment.

In a previous farewell message, sent March 24, Sarva called Newmark “a most unwelcome guest,” Business Insider reported.