WeWork? No, WeWon't
Added 10-25-19 12:31:02pm EST - “I haven't been closely following the saga of startup WeWork, which has more or less crashed and burned after being touted as the hot new unicorn of venture capital prestidigitation. The Wall Street Journal today has a long feature…” - Powerlineblog.com
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I haven’t been closely following the saga of startup WeWork, which has more or less crashed and burned after being touted as the hot new unicorn of venture capital prestidigitation. The Wall Street Journal today has a long feature article on its decline and fall, and some of the details read like they came from a Tom Wolfe satire of the new rich of our time. Savor a few of these details:
Just months before the spectacular fall of WeWork, one of the country’s most gilded startups, chief executive Adam Neumann summoned the heads of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq to one of his homes in the Hamptons.
WeWork was going public and each executive wanted Mr. Neumann to list on their exchange. In return, he wanted their support for a cause he had championed—environmental sustainability—and asked them to ban meat or single-use plastic products in their cafeterias, according to people familiar with the matter.
NYSE President Stacey Cunningham offered to eliminate plastic cups and utensils but drew the line at meat. Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman offered to create a new index, the We 50, of companies committed to sustainability. Nasdaq won.
As he was preparing for an IPO that would make him a billionaire many times over, Mr. Neumann was surfing in the Maldives when executives in New York called to go over the all-important document that would be released to investors. Reluctant to cut his trip short, Mr. Neumann summoned a WeWork underling to the Maldives for an in-person briefing, according to people familiar with the episode.
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