Adam Neumann

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adam Neumann
Neumann in 2015
Born (1979-04-25) April 25, 1979 (age 44)[citation needed]
Alma materIsraeli Naval Academy
Baruch College
Known forCo-founder, WeWork
(m. 2008)
RelativesAvi Yehiel (brother-in-law)[1]
Adi Neumann (sister)
Military career
Service/branchIsraeli Navy
Years of service1996–2001
RankSeren (Captain)[2]

Adam Neumann (Hebrew: אדם נוימן; born April 25, 1979)[citation needed] is an Israeli-American billionaire[3] businessman and investor. In 2010, he co-founded WeWork with Miguel McKelvey, where he served as CEO from 2010 to 2019.[3][4] In 2019, he co-founded a family office dubbed 166 2nd Financial Services with his wife, Rebekah Neumann, to manage their personal wealth,[5] investing over a billion dollars in real estate[6] and venture startups.[7][8]

Following mounting pressure from investors based on disclosures made in a public offering filing, Neumann resigned as CEO of WeWork and gave up majority voting control as of September 26, 2019.[9] Forbes estimated his net worth to be around US$2.2 billion as of May 2023.[3]

Early life[edit]

Neumann was born and raised in Beersheba, Israel.[10] His parents divorced when he was seven, and he lived in 13 different homes by the time he was 22.[11] His younger sister Adi Neumann, is a model and former Miss Teen Israel.[12][13] He has dyslexia and could not read or write until he was in third grade.[14]

In his teens, he lived on a kibbutz in southern Israel. He served as a junior officer in the Israeli Navy.[2] He has spoken of observing Shabbat with his family every week[15][16] and the role Judaism has played in his personal and professional growth.[17]

He attended the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City.[18]

Business career[edit]

Adam Neumann talking at TechCrunch, 2015

Before founding WeWork, Neumann founded a children's clothing company, Krawlers.[18][19] Neumann and Miguel McKelvey began working together, having met through a mutual friend, on Green Desk in 2008, a shared-workspace business focusing on sustainability, the precursor to WeWork.[19] The pair sold their interest in Green Desk[20] and using the funds along with a $15 million investment from Brooklyn real estate developer Joel Schreiber for a 33% interest in the company,[21] they founded WeWork in 2010.[19] Neumann stated that with WeWork, he intended to replicate the feeling of togetherness and belonging he felt in Israel and that he thought was lacking in the West.[22]

According to The Wall Street Journal, Neumann chartered a Gulfstream G650 for a trip from the United States to Israel during the summer of 2018. Neumann and his friends spent much of the flight smoking marijuana. After landing in Israel, the flight crew found a cereal box stuffed with marijuana and reported it to the jet owner. Fearing a marijuana trafficking incident, the jet's owner ordered it to return to the US. Neumann and his friends had to book a separate flight back.[23]

On September 22, 2019, there were reports, from outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, that various WeWork directors were planning on asking Neumann to step down as CEO, after "a tumultuous week in which his eccentric behavior and drug use came to light" before a planned IPO.[24] The Wall Street Journal reported that he had taken $700 million out of WeWork before the IPO, among other details, and "undermined his position" at the company.[25] Neumann also directed We Holdings LLC (a company managed by Neumann and McKelvey) to unwind the transaction of $5.9 million in stock that the company paid in exchange for the "We" trademarks.[26][27][28] On September 24, 2019, he resigned and Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham were named as successors.[29]

In October 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that Neumann would receive close to $1.7 billion from stakeholder SoftBank for stepping down from WeWork's board and severing most of his ties to the company.[30] Weeks later, minority shareholders filed a lawsuit against Neumann and other WeWork officials for breach of its fiduciary duties.[31] On February 24, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that Neumann had received about $130 million of the $185 million in consulting fees agreed to be paid by SoftBank before SoftBank ceased making the remainder of the payments to him.[32] On May 27, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported the terms of a renegotiated severance package between Neumann and SoftBank, replacing that from October 2019.[33] Among other terms, Neumann received $106 million in cash in addition to the $92.5 million in consulting fees previously received (in contrast to the $130 million figure reported by the WSJ on February 24, 2021, for previously received consulting fees from SoftBank), with about $50 million of that to pay for his legal fees. The renegotiated settlement package also "let him refinance $432 million in debt on favorable terms and allowed an entity Mr. Neumann controls to sell $578 million in WeWork stock." The Wall Street Journal also reported that Neumann received a new WeWork stock award of "roughly $245 million," but "if the price [of WeWork] falls below $10 [per share], Mr. Neumann is ineligible to receive the stock award." The May 2021 securities disclosure filings were made "as WeWork completes a merger with BowX Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company."[33]

In January 2021 Neumann retained top defamation lawyer Tom Clare to defend his reputation.[34]

On 12 April 2020, Forbes listed his net worth at US$750 million, having dropped off the Forbes's billionaires list that year.[35] Following WeWork's SPAC merger to become a public company in 2021, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $2.3 billion.[36] He returned to the Forbes's billionaires list in 2022.[37] As of May 2023, his net worth is listed at $2.2 billion.[3]

As of March 2022, Neumann has shifted focus to property investing in Miami.[38] In August, it was announced that Andreessen Horowitz had invested in Neumann's new residential real-estate company, Flow.[39] At the time of the announcement, the company said its expected launch was in 2023.[40][41]

In May 2022, Neumann was reported as being behind Flowcarbon, a start-up tokenizing carbon credit trading platform that runs on blockchain.[42][43]



In 2018, Neumann became a partner of InterCure, an Israeli cannabis company led by Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel[44][45] and invested in EquityBee,[46] a start-up for tech investors,[47] and Selina, a hospitality company.[48] In early 2020, Neumann invested US$10 million into multimodal shared mobility company GOTO Global, taking a 33% equity stake in the company.[49]


In 2012, Neumann partnered with Ken Horn of Alchemy Properties and Joel Schreiber and purchased for US$68 million the top floors of the Woolworth Building, which they then converted into condominiums.[21]

As CEO, Neumann, on multiple occasions purchased buildings and then leased the space back to WeWork.[50] Observers noted this as a potential conflict of interest and one that would not be allowed if WeWork were a public company.[51] During his tenure as CEO of WeWork, Neumann also purchased US$90 million worth of residences, including a 60-acre (24 ha) estate in Westchester County, New York, a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) condominium near Gramercy Park, two homes in The Hamptons, and a US$21 million mansion in Corte Madera, California.[52]

Neumann launched Flow, a residential real estate startup funded by the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, in August 2022.[53]


In 2017, Neumann and his wife donated $1 million to the "Be the Match Registry" of the National Marrow Donor Program.[54]


Neuman was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015.[55]

Time magazine named Neumann as one of the 100 most influential people of 2018.[56][57]

Personal life[edit]

Neumann married Rebekah Neumann in 2008.[52] He lives in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City with his wife and their six children.[58]

Controversies and controversial statements[edit]

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that Neumann had aspirations to live forever, become the world's first trillionaire, expand WeWork to the planet Mars, become Israel's prime minister, and become "president of the world".[59] A September 2019 Vanity Fair article reported that Neumann made claims that he convinced Rahm Emanuel to run for the presidency of the United States, used JPMorgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon as his personal banker, convinced Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman to improve the standing of women in Saudi Arabia, and claimed to be working with Jared Kushner on the Trump administration's peace plan for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[52]

In May 2023, The Spectator published an article claiming Neumann defrauded WeWork investors and compared him to Elizabeth Holmes, an entrepreneur convicted of wire fraud in 2022, which Neumann said was defamatory. He requested and received a retraction stating that the article was amended to clarify that Adam Neumann did not deliberately mislead investors or break any law.[60][61]

In popular culture[edit]

Neumann is a primary focus of the nonfiction book Billion Dollar Loser (2020).[62] In the Apple TV+ series WeCrashed (2022), Neumann is portrayed by Jared Leto.[63][64]

In 2022, The New York Times won an Emmy Award for DealBook Summit: One-on-One With Adam Neumann, a live interview hosted by Andrew Ross Sorkin.[65]

The HBO docuseries Generation Hustle produced an episode titled "Cult of WeWork" about the Neumanns’ leadership at WeWork.[66] The characterization of the show as being about scammers caused the Neumanns to pursue legal action against HBO. As a result, HBO changed their characterization and removed its true crime listing.[67][68] According to Deadline Hollywood, this was the only episode in the ten-part series where "the subject matter hasn't been charged or accused of breaking an actual law or, in many cases, served time."[67]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WeWork ex-CEO Adam Neumann said to invest NIS 1 million in Israeli soccer team". The Times of Israel. 15 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Nicolaou, Anna (March 18, 2016). "WeWork cultivating 'physical social network'". Financial Times. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Forbes Profile: Adam Neumann". Forbes. Archived from the original on 24 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  4. ^ Gelles, David; de la Merced, Michael J.; Eavis, Peter; Sorkin, Andrew Ross (Sep 24, 2019). "WeWork C.E.O. Adam Neumann Steps Down Under Pressure". The New York Times. Retrieved Sep 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Ghosh, Shona (1 November 2019). "Here are the 3 men quietly overseeing WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann's millions". Business Insider.
  6. ^ Fu, Emily (7 January 2022). "Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann's New Role: Multifamily Landlord". Observer Media.
  7. ^ Mathews, Jessica (18 March 2022). "WeWork founder Adam Neumann is back—as a VC". Fortune.
  8. ^ Putzier, Konrad; Brown, Eliot (4 January 2022). "WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Is Becoming an Apartment Mogul". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ Annie Palmer (30 September 2019). "WeWork pulls IPO filing". Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  10. ^ Vara, Vauhini (November 2020). "How to Get Rich By Losing Lots of Money". The Atlantic.
  11. ^ Everything You Need to Know About WeWork Founder Adam Neumann
  12. ^ Wiedeman, Reeves (2019-06-10). "How Did WeWork's Adam Neumann Build a $47 Billion Company?". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  13. ^ Orpaz, Inbal (31 July 2017). "By Harnessing Israeliness, WeWork Joins the Ranks of Uber, Airbnb". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  14. ^ Bertoni, Steven. "WeWork's $20 Billion Office Party: The Crazy Bet That Could Change How The World Does Business". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  15. ^ "Wall Street Dinner & Closing Bell After-Party". UJA Federation. December 10, 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  16. ^ Wenkert, Amarelle (January 4, 2019). "WeWork's Adam Neumann Says Observing Jewish Shabbat Helps Him Keep Ego in Check". CTech. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  17. ^ "$31 Million Raised in Record-Breaking UJA Wall Street Dinner". The Jewish Voice. December 12, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Loizos, Connie. "WeWork's Adam Neumann is graduating from college today — 15 years after he enrolled". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Turk, Victoria (June 6, 2018). "How WeWork became the most hyped startup in the world". Wired. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  20. ^ Wiedeman, Reeves (June 10, 2019). "How did WeWork's Adam Neumann turn office space with "community" into a $47 billion company? Not by sharing". New York.
  21. ^ a b Putzier, Konrad (December 1, 2017). "The story of WeWork's mysterious first investor". The Real Deal.
  22. ^ "אני מתגעגע לישראל כל הזמן, אבל לא הייתי יכול לבנות חברה כמו WeWork בארץ". ynet (in Hebrew). 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  23. ^ Brown, Eliot (2019-09-18). "'This Is Not the Way Everybody Behaves.' How Adam Neumann's Over-the-Top Style Built WeWork". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  24. ^ Farrell, Maureen (September 22, 2019). "Some WeWork Board Members Seek to Remove Adam Neumann as CEO". Wall street
  25. ^ Rushe, Dominic (September 30, 2019). "Troubled WeWork scraps share sale after ousting founder Adam Neumann". The Guardian.
  26. ^ Erickson, David (3 September 2019). "Why the We Company Looks Like the Me Company". Knowledge at Wharton.
  27. ^ Palmer, Annie (4 September 2019). "WeWork CEO returns $5.9 million the company paid him for 'We' trademark". CNBC.
  28. ^ Bort, Julie (19 August 2019). "How WeWork paid Adam Neumann $5.9 million to use the name 'We'". Business Insider.
  29. ^ Brooker (September 24, 2019). "The fall of WeWork's Adam Neumann". Fast Company.
  30. ^ Maureen Farrell, Eliot Brown (October 22, 2019). "SoftBank to Boost Stake in WeWork in Deal That Cuts Most Ties With Neumann". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  31. ^ "WeWork, ex-CEO Neumann, Softbank sued over botched IPO, plummeting value". Reuters. November 8, 2019.
  32. ^ Brown, Maureen Farrell and Eliot (2021-02-25). "WSJ News Exclusive | WeWork's Adam Neumann to Get Extra $50 Million Payout in SoftBank Settlement". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  33. ^ a b Farrell, Eliot Brown and Maureen (2021-05-27). "Former WeWork Chief's Gargantuan Exit Package Gets New Sweetener". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  34. ^ Opfer, Chris. "WeWork Founder Taps Defamation Lawyer to Help Reshape Image (2)". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  35. ^ "Adam Neumann Profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2020-04-12.
  36. ^ Maloney, Tom (21 October 2021). "WeWork's Adam Neumann Is Walking Away With a $2.3 Billion Fortune". Bloomberg News.
  37. ^ "Adam Neumann Profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2022-04-13.
  38. ^ "WeWork's Adam Neumann: Where He & Wife Rebekah Are Now". Marie Claire. 25 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  39. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross (2022-08-15). "Adam Neumann's New Company Gets a Big Check From Andreessen Horowitz". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  40. ^ Capoot, Ashley (15 August 2022). "Andreessen Horowitz announces plans to invest in Adam Neumann's new residential real estate company". CNBC. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  41. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross (2022-08-15). "Adam Neumann's New Company Gets a Big Check From Andreessen Horowitz". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  42. ^ Jessop, Simon (2022-05-24). "EXCLUSIVE Neumann-backed climate tech venture Flowcarbon raises $70 mln". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  43. ^ Dugan, Kevin T. (2022-05-24). "Adam Neumann's New Business Plan". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  44. ^ Scheer, Steven (December 6, 2018). "Israeli medical cannabis firm InterCure plans Nasdaq listing". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  45. ^ Weinreb, Gali (November 28, 2018). "WeWork's Adam Neumann invests in cannabis co InterCure". Globes. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  46. ^ Stoler, Tofi (2018-09-12). "WeWork's Adam Neumann Invests in Stock Option Marketplace EquityBee". CTECH - Retrieved 2022-05-06.
  47. ^ Gallindoss, Alan (November 28, 2018). "WeWork Founder, Adam Neumann Invests In Ehud Barak's Cannabis Company". Jewish Business News. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  48. ^ Putzier, Konrad (December 5, 2018). "Adam Neumann-backed hotel and co-working company Selina expands to NYC". The Real Deal.
  49. ^ Korosec, Kristen (15 July 2020). "Adam Neumann is back in the shared economy business with an investment in GoTo Global". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  50. ^ "WeWork CEO owns some buildings WeWork leases, raising conflict of interest concerns". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2022-05-06.
  51. ^ Rajamani, Maya (January 17, 2019). "WeWork's Size Gives Startup Public Responsibilities, Sam Zell Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  52. ^ a b c Sherman, Gabriel (2019-11-21). ""You Don't Bring Bad News to the Cult Leader": Inside the Fall of WeWork". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  53. ^ Auslender, Viki (19 February 2023). "Going with the Flow: Adam Neumann wants to solve the housing crisis with a monopoly".
  54. ^ O'Brien, Sara Ashley (May 19, 2017). "WeWork founder donates $1 million to help find bone marrow donors". CNN Business.
  55. ^ del Castillo, Michael (17 June 2015). "NYC unicorns among city's top entrepreneur winners recognized by Ernst & Young". American City Business Journals.
  56. ^ Gagné, Yasmin (19 April 2018). "Here's Why These Seven Leaders, Including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, Are Among the World's Most Influential People". Inc.
  57. ^ Benioff, Marc (2018). "Adam Neumann". Time. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  58. ^ Mackelden, Amy (2022-03-18). "What Happened to WeWork's Adam and Rebekah Neumann?". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  59. ^ Taylor Telford (September 23, 2019). "Adam Neumann's chaotic energy built WeWork. Now it might cost him his job as CEO". The Washington Post.
  60. ^ Maher, Bron (23 August 2023). "We Work founder Adam Neumann demands £25,000 from Spectator after story amended". PressGazette.
  61. ^ Cohan, William D. (2023-04-21). "Inside the unlikely return of WeWork's Adam Neumann". The Spectator World. Retrieved 2023-09-08.
  62. ^ Kirn, Walter (2020-10-23). "The Cautionary Tale of Adam Neumann and WeWork". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  63. ^ Nicholson, Tom (23 March 2022). "The Bizarre True Story of 'WeCrashed', Jared Leto's WeWork Drama". Esquire. Archived from the original on 3 January 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  64. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (9 November 2021). "WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann On Apple TV+ 'WeCrashed' – Jared Leto Told Me Not To Watch". Deadline. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  65. ^ "The New York Times Wins 5 Emmy Awards". The New York Times. 30 September 2022.
  66. ^ Dodes, Rachel (24 June 2021). "How Billionaire Rebekah Neumann Put the Woo-Woo in WeWork". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  67. ^ a b Patten, Dominic; Hayes, Dade (11 October 2021). "HBO Max Alters 'Generation Hustle' Descriptions Of Ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann; Drops "True Crime" From Docuseries' Definition". Deadline. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  68. ^ KECK, CATIE (14 October 2021). "WeWork's infamous founder got HBO Max to tweak a documentary about him". Retrieved 6 October 2022.