Adam Neumann

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Adam Neumann
TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015 (17172830107) cropped.jpg
Adam Neumann in 2015
Born (1979-04-25) April 25, 1979 (age 43)
Tel Aviv, Israel
CitizenshipIsrael, United States
Alma materIsraeli Naval Academy
Baruch College
OccupationBusinessman
Known forCo-founder, WeWork
Height6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Spouse(s)Rebekah Neumann
Children6
Military career
AllegianceIsrael
Service/branchIsraeli Navy
Years of service1996–2001
RankSeren (Captain) [1]

Adam Neumann (Hebrew: אדם נוימן; born April 25, 1979) is an Israeli-American businessman and investor. In 2010, he co-founded WeWork with Miguel McKelvey.[2]

Following mounting pressure from investors based on disclosures made in its S-1 filing, Neumann resigned as CEO of WeWork and gave up majority voting control as of September 26, 2019. WeWork also delayed its initial public offering (IPO) until the end of 2019 amid growing investor concerns over its corporate governance, valuation, and outlook for the business. On September 30, 2019, WeWork formally withdrew its S-1 filing and postponed the IPO.[3] He served as WeWork's CEO from 2010–2019.[4] In 2021 his net worth is estimated to be around US$1.5 billion.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

The Neumann family, from Israel, is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Neumann's parents, both physicians, Avivit and Doron Neumann, divorced when he was seven years old. He and his younger sister, Israeli model Adi Neumann, moved to the United States with their mother for her medical residency. Due to his dyslexia, Neumann could not read or write until third grade.[6] In 1990, after four years in the US, they returned to Israel and settled in kibbutz Nir Am. He graduated from the Israeli Naval Academy and served as an officer in the Israeli Navy for five years and was discharged with the rank of seren (captain).[1] He later attended the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City.[7]

Career[edit]

Prior to founding WeWork, Neumann founded a children's clothing company, Krawlers.[7][8] Neumann and 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.[8] The pair sold their interest in Green Desk[9] and using the funds along with a $15 million investment from Brooklyn real estate developer Joel Schreiber for a 33% interest in the company,[10] they founded WeWork in 2010.[8] 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.[11]

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. During the flight, Neumann and his friends spent much of the flight smoking marijuana. After the flight landed 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 owner of the jet ordered it to return to the US. Neumann and his friends had to book a separate flight back.[12]

In 2018, WeWork faced a lawsuit from a former employee who identified issues of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviors in the workplace. In her statement, she mentioned that Neumann "plied [her] with tequila shots during her interview with the company."[13][14] Shortly after this claim was made, WeWork put an end to its unlimited beer for employees and implemented a policy of only four beers per day in the New York office.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] Neumann also repaid $5.9 million that the company had paid him in exchange for his trademark of the word "We".[18][19] On September 24, 2019, he resigned and Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham were named as successors.[20]

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.[21] Weeks later, minority shareholders filed a lawsuit against Neumann and other WeWork officials for breach of its fiduciary duties.[22] On 5 March 2021, Forbes listed his net worth at US$750 million, having dropped off the Forbes billionaires list in 2020.[23]

As of March 2022, Neumann has shifted focus to property investing in Miami.[24]

Investments[edit]

In 2018, Neumann became a partner of InterCure, an Israeli cannabis company led by Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel[25][26] and invested in EquityBee,[27] a start-up for tech investors,[28] and Selina, a hospitality company.[29] In early 2020, Neumann invested US$10 million into multimodal shared mobility company GOTO Global, taking a 33% equity stake in the company.[30]

Property[edit]

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.[10]

As CEO, Neumann on multiple occasions purchased buildings and then leased the space back to WeWork.[31] Observers noted this as a potential conflict of interest and one that would not be allowed if WeWork were a public company.[32] 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.[33]

Neumann has begun purchasing apartment buildings, and as of early 2022, owned some 4,000 apartments worth about US$1 billion.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Adam Neumann talking at TechCrunch, 2015

Neumann lives in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City with his wife, Rebekah Neumann, and their six children, including two pairs of twins.[35][36][37] Rebekah is a cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow.[38] Neumann's sister, Adi Neumann, is a model and was Miss Teen Israel.[39][40]

In 2018, Neumann gave a keynote speech at an event held by UJA-Federation of New York where he spoke of observing Shabbat with his family every week[41][42] and the role Judaism has played in his personal and professional growth.[43]

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".[44] 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.[33]

In popular culture[edit]

In the Apple TV+ series WeCrashed (2022), Neumann is portrayed by Jared Leto.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nicolaou, Anna (March 18, 2016). "WeWork cultivating 'physical social network'". Financial Times. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Adam Neumann". Forbes. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ Annie Palmer (30 September 2019). "WeWork pulls IPO filing". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  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". Retrieved Sep 26, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  5. ^ "Exploring Adam Neumann Net Worth, the Founder of WeWork". The Teal Mango. 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  6. ^ Bertoni, Steven. "WeWork's $20 Billion Office Party: The Crazy Bet That Could Change How The World Does Business". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  7. ^ a b Loizos, Connie. "WeWork's Adam Neumann is graduating from college today — 15 years after he enrolled". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Turk, Victoria (June 6, 2018). "How WeWork became the most hyped startup in the world". Wired. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b Putzier, Konrad (December 1, 2017). "The story of WeWork's mysterious first investor". The Real Deal.
  11. ^ "אני מתגעגע לישראל כל הזמן, אבל לא הייתי יכול לבנות חברה כמו WeWork בארץ". ynet (in Hebrew). 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  12. ^ Brown, Eliot (2019-09-18). "'This Is Not the Way Everybody Behaves.' How Adam Neumann's Over-the-Top Style Built WeWork". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Ashley (October 12, 2018). "Former WeWork employee sues for sexual harassment, retaliation". CNN Business. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  14. ^ Rajamani, Maya (October 12, 2018). "NYC Woman Assaulted by Two WeWork Employees Amid 'Frat-Boy Culture' That Pervades Coworking Company, Lawsuit Claims". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  15. ^ Small, Eddie (November 2, 2018). "Party foul? Unlimited beer is no longer a thing at WeWork". The Real Deal. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  16. ^ Farrell, Maureen (September 22, 2019). "Some WeWork Board Members Seek to Remove Adam Neumann as CEO". Wall street Journalwww.wsj.com.
  17. ^ Rushe, Dominic (September 30, 2019). "Troubled WeWork scraps share sale after ousting founder Adam Neumann". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Gilbert, Ben. "WeWork paid its own CEO $5.9 million to use the name 'We,' but now he's giving it back after the deal was criticized". Business Insider.
  19. ^ Palmer, Annie (September 4, 2019). "WeWork CEO returns $5.9 million the company paid him for 'We' trademark". CNBC.
  20. ^ Brooker (September 24, 2019). "The fall of WeWork's Adam Neumann". Fast Company.
  21. ^ Maureen Farrell, Eliot Brown (October 22, 2019). "SoftBank to Boost Stake in WeWork in Deal That Cuts Most Ties With Neumann". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  22. ^ "WeWork, ex-CEO Neumann, Softbank sued over botched IPO, plummeting value". Reuters. November 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Roman Abramovich". Forbes.
  24. ^ "WeWork's Adam Neumann: Where He & Wife Rebekah Are Now". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  25. ^ Scheer, Steven (December 6, 2018). "Israeli medical cannabis firm InterCure plans Nasdaq listing". Reuters. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  26. ^ Weinreb, Gali (November 28, 2018). "WeWork's Adam Neumann invests in cannabis co InterCure". Globes. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  27. ^ Stoler, Tofi (2018-09-12). "WeWork's Adam Neumann Invests in Stock Option Marketplace EquityBee". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com. Retrieved 2022-05-06.
  28. ^ Gallindoss, Alan (November 28, 2018). "WeWork Founder, Adam Neumann Invests In Ehud Barak's Cannabis Company". Jewish Business News. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  29. ^ Putzier, Konrad (December 5, 2018). "Adam Neumann-backed hotel and co-working company Selina expands to NYC". The Real Deal.
  30. ^ Korosec, Kristen. "Adam Neumann is back in the shared economy business with an investment in GoTo Global". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  31. ^ www.bizjournals.com https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2019/01/16/wework-ceo-neumann-property-owned-ipo.html. Retrieved 2022-05-06. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Rajamani, Maya (January 17, 2019). "WeWork's Size Gives Startup Public Responsibilities, Sam Zell Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  33. ^ a b 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.
  34. ^ Brown, Konrad Putzier and Eliot (4 January 2022). "WSJ News Exclusive | WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Is Becoming an Apartment Mogul". Wall Street Journal.
  35. ^ MACKELDEN, AMY (2022-03-18). "What Happened to WeWork's Adam and Rebekah Neumann?". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 2022-03-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "WeLive: Adam Neumann buys Greenwich Village townhouse". The Real Deal New York. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  37. ^ Lidsky, David (6 November 2017). "WeWork Founder Hopes Her New School Will Help 5-Year-Olds Pursue Their Life's Purpose". Fast Company. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  38. ^ Observer: "How Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cousin Co-Founded WeWork - The pair behind WeWork discuss their fantasies of a WeWorld with PORTER" By Margaret Abrams August 3, 2016
  39. ^ Wiedeman, Reeves (2019-06-10). "How Did WeWork's Adam Neumann Build a $47 Billion Company?". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  40. ^ Orpaz, Inbal (31 July 2017). "By Harnessing Israeliness, WeWork Joins the Ranks of Uber, Airbnb". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  41. ^ "Wall Street Dinner & Closing Bell After-Party". UJA Federation. December 10, 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  42. ^ Wenkert, Amarelle (January 4, 2019). "WeWork's Adam Neumann Says Observing Jewish Shabbat Helps Him Keep Ego in Check". CTech. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  43. ^ "$31 Million Raised in Record-Breaking UJA Wall Street Dinner". The Jewish Voice. December 12, 2018.
  44. ^ Taylor Telford (September 23, 2019). "Adam Neumann's chaotic energy built WeWork. Now it might cost him his job as CEO". Washington Post.
  45. ^ Nicholson, Tom (23 March 2022). "The Bizarre True Story of 'WeCrashed', Jared Leto's WeWork Drama". Esquire.

External links[edit]