After failing to list for an IPO, coworking giant WeWork informed its staff that job cuts are coming this month.
In a meeting with employees last week, new co-chief executive officers Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham and co-founder Miguel McKelvey said that cost-cutting efforts would include layoffs.
Although the number of exact job cuts was not specified, people familiar with the discussions have pegged the amount at about 2,000, representing some 16% of the global workforce of 12,500. Deliberations are ongoing, and the number could change.
The discussion that took place at WeWork’s Manhattan headquarters was live-streamed to all employees. The executives added that they expect WeWork to continue to grow, but at a slower pace, and that the company planned to make some divestitures as part of an effort to “right-size” its business. They, however, eased concerns by stating that clients and tenants were still interested in WeWork services. The executives urged staff to focus on the co-working business and its customers.
The job cuts are yet another indication of the uncertainty that continues to grip the coworking giant after its plan for an initial public offering did not go through, leading to the ouster of co-founder Adam Neumann as CEO. While the new leadership has said it plans to re-emphasize its office-rental business and is said to be exploring a sale of several of its recent acquisitions, including event organizing platform Meetup, yet it will be some time before the company finds its bearings again. In this direction, the company is also canceling its upcoming WeWork Global Summit in Los Angeles.