WeWork’s charismatic and controversial CEO Adam Neumann is reportedly in the hotseat after the company shelved its IPO until later this year.
A group of WeWork directors aim to oust Neumann from the role, although it’s currently unclear how the 7-member WeWork board has sided, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The board could meet this week and discuss Neumann becoming WeWork’s nonexecutive chairman, according to the Journal. Those who want Neumann out at CEO includes officials linked to WeWork’s biggest backer, SoftBank.
SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son is in favor of ousting Neumann as CEO, CNBC reported on Sunday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
As co-founder of WeWork, Neumann built the company to a coworking giant valued in the private markets at $47 billion. But the charismatic leader has also faced intense criticism about how he runs the company and his own dealings with it, including conflicts of interest, and a lack of investor interest led the company to postpone its IPO plans until later this year.
Neumann retains a strong hold over the company he helped start, and the Journal report notes that attempting to oust the billionaire businessman is a gamble, since he retains allies and has the power to fire the entire board.
A report from the New York Times on Sunday, meanwhile, said that some board members and large investors are speaking in private about potentially replacing Neumann, in light of feedback from some major money managers. However, the Times reported that those talks are currently informal.