- WeWork has named real estate veteran and former CEO of Brookfield Properties, Sandeep Mathrani, as its new CEO.
- Mathrani will replace WeWork’s temporary co-CEOs, Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson.
- With Mathrani on board, the coworking giant hopes to build a business that can sustain itself in the short and long term.
WeWork announced Sunday that it has named Sandeep Mathrani as its new CEO. Mathrani is a real estate veteran and former CEO of Brookfield Properties.
The news comes five months after WeWork appointed Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson as temporary co-CEOs after Adam Neumann stepped down following the company’s failed IPO attempt.
According to sources, Mathrani was recruited by Marcelo Claure, WeWork’s new executive chairman. Claure came on board as part of SoftBank’s bailout deal and he will stay on as executive chairman.
A New Era for WeWork?
Since Neumann was ousted as CEO, Gunningham and Minson focused their efforts on cutting costs. Since their appointment as co-CEOs, WeWork has put up for sale several of its side businesses, laid off thousands of people, and closed non-core related businesses like WeGrow.
With Mathrani now on board, the coworking giant hopes to build a business that can sustain itself in the short and long term. Mathrani is set to start on February 18th and one of his first tasks, alongside Claure, is to build out the company’s new executive team. Marketwatch reported that “WeWork is planning to announce new board members and a new chief financial officer, chief marketing officer and chief communications officer soon.”
The appointment of Mathrani signals that WeWork is moving away from Neumann’s vision and strategy for the company. Rather than focusing on lofty aims and fast growth, under this new leadership the company is likely to rethink its growth and real estate strategy. It remains to be seen how many locations WeWork will actually open in 2020 and how many it will close, if any.
The appointment further confirms that WeWork was never really a technology company, but rather a highly overvalued real estate one.
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Mathrani’s connections and experience in the real estate industry might prove beneficial for WeWork, especially if the company still hopes to renegotiate several leases across various markets.
A Bumpy Ride Ahead
Though WeWork was once one of the most valuable companies in the world, those days are gone.
Mathrani is taking over a company that’s had a deep fall and lost billions in months. The coworking company reportedly incurred a $1.3 billion loss on $934 million of revenue, it almost ran out of cash in the fall, and the only reason it is still standing is because SoftBank stepped in with a generous bailout deal.
Turning the company around to be cash positive won’t be an easy task.