Ousted WeWork CEO says $47 billion valuation went to his head before botched IPO

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  • Former WeWork CEO Adam Newman said the company’s $47 billion valuation went over his head, in the first interview since leaving the company in 2019, amid its botched IPO.
  • The interview comes less than a month after WeWork went public through a SPAC-merger at a valuation of $9 billion.
  • Newman spoke about the lessons learned and confirmed that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon convinced him to step down.

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Ousted WeWork CEO Adam Neumann said Tuesday that the company’s private, $47 billion valuation has gone over its head, in the first interview since leaving the company in 2019, amid its failed IPO.

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“So yes the evaluation made us feel like we were right, which made me feel like the genre I was leading in was the right style at the time, so I think it influenced it,” he told The New told Businesshala’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. York Times Dealbook Online Summit. “I also think the chase… Maybe it went over my head. I think at some point it happened.”

The interview comes less than a month after the company went public through the SPAC merger with a valuation of $9 billion.

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Newman confirmed reports that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the bank leading the IPO, convinced him to step down from the company. He also talked about the lessons learned, addressing the backlash around the $1 billion he received when he moved away from WeWork.

“The notion that I somehow made a profit when the company was going down, from a valuation of $47 billion to $9 billion, is completely false,” he said. “I was not speaking.”

Newman said he understands this notion and is “disappointed” for employees who lost their jobs or took low pay and stock because they believed in the company. He said that he never intended that the company should not be successful, but every start-up has risks.

“When you take equity … and you join a start-up, you take on risk,” he said. “Now, I wish it would have worked differently for everyone but the market has now decided that it is worth $9 billion. It is being measured on a daily basis and I really think that weWork today There is a better opportunity than at that time.”

Newman also responded to allegations of drinking and drug use at the company. He added that they “make good stories for movies and television shows.” He said weed was the only drug he was aware of and that WeWork had a “fun” culture.

He did not comment on the audience’s suggestion to share his wealth with WeWork employees, but said that he and co-founder Miguel McKelvey have privately done things with their money that they are ready to discuss. are not. Newman said he is currently investing through a family office, and is interested in cryptocurrencies.

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