The long and winding road that is WeWork’s IPO saga is slowly coming to a close. Founder and former CEO Adam Neumann will receive $1.7 billion to walk away from the company as its largest backer SoftBank takes up an 80% stake.
Additionally, the company’s 12,000 employees now have stocks that were once worth $110 per share, and could become worthless if they are not repriced. According to one of WeWork’s new CEOs, Sebastian Gunningham, they’re “working on it.”
WeWork, like several other one promising companies, suffered from the over-the-top founder effect, which distorts the reality of how businesses should be run. Whether it be a luxury music festival in The Bahamas or a company that insists it needs a prick of blood to complete lab tests, a lot can get done behind delusional leadership.
“When I was first hired I bought into the hype pitched to me by the CEO and Founders. They were excited about their product, and I became excited too,” said Scott Schaefer, Founder and Publisher of South King Media, who had his own experiences with worthless shares during the dotcom bubble. “It wasn’t until after working with them for a few months that I began to see through the hype and find the truth.”