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RepRisk case study

# Why WeWork's IPO failed

# July 2021

WeWork opened its first shared workspace in New York City in 2010, shortly after its founding. The company then expanded its operations to 425 locations in 100 cities across 27 countries within a decade, and was valued at USD 47 billion in 2019 after receiving a USD 6 billion investment from Softbank.

WeWork’s extraordinary growth, however, drew scrutiny over its corporate governance and culture. The scrutiny included reports on WeWork’s settlements with the Illinois and New York attorneys general over the company’s extensive use of non-compete agreements, as well as a former employee’s sexual harassment claim filed in the second half of 2018.

In early 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that WeWork’s founder and then- CEO, Adam Neumann, had made millions of dollars by leasing his own properties to the company. In the months that followed, WeWork faced a growing number of legal complaints alleging workplace discrimination and retaliation against whistleblowing employees. In August of the same year, WeWork’s parent company We Co announced plans to go public on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

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