Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann may have managed to extract $700 million from his WeWork stake via share-sales and bank loans, but apparently it takes more than money to secure a place among New York Cities wealthy elite. According to the New York Post's Page Six, many of the coop boards at some of the most prestigious buildings in the city have preemptively rejected Neumann and his wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann.
The Neumanns were reportedly shopping around for a home on Fifth Avenue when the boards of three buildings in the area including 950 and 960 Fifth Avenue. The Neumanns have reportedly contracted with multiple brokers, and even hired WeWork's former head of commercial real estate, Mark Lapidus, to help with the search.
But one market "insider" quoted by the NYP said the "gilded life" that the Neumanns dreamed of might be forever out of their reach.
"Neumann wanted the gilded life on Fifth Avenue...But the brokers put in discreet calls to members of the co-op boards, and they all said no."
The coop boards have reportedly taken issue with the "outlandish" behavior that led to Neumann's ouster as WeWork's CEO (he's still the chairman and a large shareholder). Media reports that landed as the company's valuation was in free-fall last month described Neumann's hard-partying ways, and even mentioned a specific incident where Neumann brought a large quantity of marijuana on an international flight, angering the owner of the plane.
Neumann has also been lambasted for some of his comments that make him sound like a character on the satirical TV show Silicon Valley. The former executive has said that he wants to build a 'WeWork' on Mars, and that 'The We family' might give the world's orphans "a new family."
He has also boasted about becoming the world's first 'trillionaire'.
While the Neumann's have seen their fortune shrink dramatically in recent weeks, many WeWork employees are anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Bloomberg reports that the company's new top executives, co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, have warned the company's employees that potentially thousands of layoffs could happen as soon as this month. They promised that the cuts will be handled as "humanely" as possible. Executives have told BBG that the company is considering laying off some 2,000 employees, roughly 16% of its global workforce of 12,500.
Since the company's plan for an IPO crumbled, WeWork has warned that it will slow the pace of its rapid international expansion and focus on growing its core business.
Unfortunately, there's no way to do that without letting some heads roll. What's worse: This time around, the survivors probably won't be greeted by champagne and snacks, like they would have in Neumann's day.