After a failed public offering and spectacular implosion that led to the resignation of perennially barefooted co-founder Adam Neumann, WeWork wants to be redeemed. With the rise of pandemic-era flex offices, the post-Neumann WeWork is reportedly seeing its chance to grow. When asked at a recent event about WeCrashed’s prestige take on his company’s collapse, new CEO Sandeep Mathrani said he was waiting for the sequel: “We Crushed It.” (Was WeCrushed taken?)
In the past, the company burned through cash to buy leases at above-market rates, pursuing a “growth at all costs” model that ultimately collapsed. The plan now, its executives say, is to move slowly. When asked by the Commercial Observer how fast it was expecting to grow, Peter Greenspan, the global head of real estate, deflected. “We do have some incredible locations in the pipeline that will be opening over the next year,” he said. “In addition to that, we have been working with landlords on various types of asset-light financial structures, which is really the way the industry is going to have to work going forward.” He added, “To give you a number today wouldn’t be responsible.”
It could work? Companies are still uncertain about their return-to-office plans, and WeWork could capitalize on the disarray. Start-ups are reportedly turning to WeWork for its “low-commitment” office spaces, and landlords are looking to make deals. Still, the company reported a $435 million loss in the first quarter of 2022, and it’s gone through three different CFOs in two years. It’s still WeWorking it out.