WeWork plans to name real estate executive as new CEO

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Sandeep Mathrani

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(CNN) –WeWork plans to name seasoned real estate executive Sandeep Mathrani as its next CEO, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the hire.

Mathrani will take over as head of WeWork’s parent, the We Company, as it recovers from a scrubbed IPO and the September departure of co-founder and disgraced former CEO Adam Neumann.

Marcelo Claure, We’s executive chairman, recruited Mathrani and will be his boss, according to the Journal. Claure is part of SoftBank Group Corp, which spent billions of dollars to bail out WeWork in October.

Sandeep Mathrani had served as Brookfield Property Retail’s CEO since August 2018, according to his LinkedIn page. His last day at the company was January 31, Brookfield confirmed.

“It is the opportune time for him to pursue a new challenge,” wrote Brian Kingston, CEO of Brookfield Property Group and Property Partners, in an internal memo viewed by CNN Business. Mathrani will replace Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, the current co-CEOs, who have served in the roles since September.

Under Neumann’s leadership, WeWork raised billions of dollars, scaled its coworking operations to hundreds of cities around the world, and was valued at an eye-popping $47 billion during one investment round. But also under Neumann, the company failed spectacularly in its attempt to go public in large part because IPO paperwork revealed his unchecked power and numerous potential conflicts of interest, as well WeWork’s staggering losses.

SoftBank took 80% ownership of the company as part of the deal to pump in $5 billion, and accelerated a $1.5 billion equity investment originally due in 2020. The package valued WeWork at $8 billion, just a fraction of its peak valuation.

WeWork, Mathrani and Claure did not immediately return requests for comment.

 

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