Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann reportedly ignored advice not to try and take the company public in just three months - and had his wife and co-founder draft an elaborate IPO document that left executives stunned.
The 40-year-old Israeli billionaire businessman stepped down last week after pressure from the board and was succeeded by co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham.
The pair announced the company will withdraw its S-1 filling, a document that gives potential investors information, and will hold-off going public in favor of 'focusing' on its 'core business.'
WeWork is expected to lay-off several thousand of its 12,500 employees, cancel several of its side-businesses and sell-off assets including a Gulfstream Jet that Neumann bought earlier this year for an estimated $60 million, New York Magazine reported.
Adam Neumann, 40, the former-CEO of WeWork stepped down from his role last week
He has been accused of ignoring advice not to go public and instead choosing to do so in an 'impossibly' short amount of time
WeWork announced its plans for an IPO in April and said that it had filed relevant confidential paperwork in preparation for the move.
At the time, Neumann was excited, 'The numbers will speak for themselves,' he said. 'I’m excited to show to people that when you do what I said, it also works financially. I think it’s good to have a report card.'
Banks fought over who would handle the estimated $100 million in fees from representing WeWork.
Morgan Stanley told the team its valuation could reach $104bn, Goldman Sachs $96bn and JPMorgan $63bn, according to the Financial Times.
If any of those were to go through, it would have made Neumann one of the wealthiest people in the world.
In early May, Neumann set the extremely ambitious date to go public by the end of July.
'That's impossible' one marketing firm told WeWork, an employee recalled. But the company chose to ignore them, stating that if the firm could not do it, they would 'go somewhere else.'
As the deadline approached, Neumann brought in his wife Rebekah to work on the S-1 document, which are known to fact-based driven documents without flair.
One executive told NYMag: 'The traditional approach to producing an S-1 is bankers and lawyers hashing this out, but the process was continually usurped by Rebekah’s involvement.
'She treated it like it was the September issue of Vogue.'
Rebekah allegedly hired a former-director of photography from Vanity Fair and insisted on approving every image selected for use.
One source explained that WeWork included 'many more' pictures than most companies who go public.
They said: 'The thing that’s so damning about all that is that it’s just not the point of the document.
'That’s the thing about WeWork: You’re spending all this time working on the surface of it instead of the actual truth of the thing.'
Neumann with his wife Rebekah Neumann, she is alleged to have turned