WeWork fires 13 employees for breaking company rules

James Cook
13 WeWork employees were fired after an internal investigation - REUTERS

WeWork has fired 13 employees for breaking internal policies, its new boss chairman has announced.

Marcelo Claure, the SoftBank executive brought in to oversee the office space rental business, said in an internal memo to WeWork employees that the staff members were terminated following “complaints of abuse of our vendor selection and management processes”.

“Upon completion of these investigations, we terminated the employment of 13 employees,” Mr Claure wrote.

The fired employees worked in Canada, Israel, Latin America and the US, according to the memo.

“We are a culture that believes in making the impossible possible,” the memo read. “I want that culture to continue, but always with integrity and respect – respect for the law, our policies and, most importantly, each other.”

The business is cutting up to a quarter of its staff as part of a global series of layoffs, which Mr Claure said would be complete in several weeks.

WeWork issued a formal notice of incoming redundancies to employees in the UK earlier this week.

The company is thought to employ more than 1,000 people in Britain, but is expected to scale back its operations in the wake of surging losses and abandoning a planned stock market listing.

WeWork canned its float in September amid intense scrutiny over its business model and then-chief executive Adam Neumann’s personal financial involvement in the business.

SoftBank agreed a $10bn (£7.8bn) financing deal with WeWork last monththat cuts its valuation to just $8bn, a fraction of the $47bn valuation that WeWork had targeted.

The deal also saw Mr Neumann leave the firm, although he remains a board observer. 

He was given a $185m consulting fee and agreed to sell $1bn of stock to SoftBank as part of the deal. He also received $500m in credit so he can pay off existing loans.