Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive officer of WeWork, speaks during a signing ceremony at WeWork Weihai Road flagship on April 12, 2018 in Shanghai, China. World’s leading co-working space company WeWork will acquire China-based rival naked Hub for 400 million U.S. dollars. (Photo by Jackal Pan/Visual China Group via Getty Images)
Jackal Pan | Visual China Group | Getty Images
WeWork has attracted scrutiny over its unusual business model and governance structure, but the company’s strangeness seems to start at the top with CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann, according to a remarkable profile in The Wall Street Journal.
Neumann has expressed interest in becoming Israel’s prime minister and the president of the world, living forever, and becoming the world’s first trillionaire, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. He is also said to have told employees that the company could one day end world hunger.
Additionally, as WeWork’s IPO valuation has been slashed, Neumann continues to believe the company could be worth far more than the $47 billion valuation assigned to it in January, the Journal said. That conflicts with the narrative Neumann expressed as recently as yesterday, when the Financial Times reported that he told employees that he had been “humbled” by the company’s IPO stumbles and said he needed to learn more about running a public company.
It comes as the We Co., WeWork’s parent company, moved this week to delay the IPO, reflecting ongoing skepticism around its corporate governance structure and ballooning losses. The company is now figuring out how to sharpen its story before it starts its investor roadshow, while maintaining it expects the deal to be completed by the end of the year.
Read the full report from the Wall Street Journal here.