The past few months have seen WeWork go from a beloved coworking darling to a headline-grabbing dumpster fire. During this time, the company canceled its initial public offering, ousted its eccentric CEO and narrowly avoided bankruptcy. Now, in a recording obtained by Recode, the company’s new executive chairman Marcelo Claure spoke briefly about his history as CEO of Sprint, how he came to learn of WeWork, Adam Neumann’s role in the SoftBank bailout deal and acknowledged to employees’ concerns about layoffs.
“Layoffs, it’s in everybody’s mind, layoff, severance, right? I don’t have all the answers,” said Claure. “Are there going to be layoffs? Yes. How many? I don’t know. It’s day one…We’re going to make sure that they leave with dignity, that we’re taking proper care of them, and that we’re rewarding them for them having taken a chance on WeWork. For the ones that stay, we’re going to give you total transparency. You’re going to be a partner. We’re going to figure out a way how you share in whatever we create together, in all of the value that we create together. We’re going to be realistic about valuations.”
When one employee asked about the possibility of there being no layoffs, Claure said that he was certain there would be, and those who were cut from the company would be “taking one for the team.”
In reference to the overwhelmingly negative press the company has received since its S-1 filing, Claure stated that despite worried that WeWork would go under, they plan on doubling the size of the firm over the next nine months and that it is important to focus on their positive results moving forward.