Akihabara News (Tokyo) — WeWork has undergone major leadership changes at the instigation of its lead investor, SoftBank and its Vision Fund.
First, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann was made to step down under pressure, and SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son asked the former CEO of Sprint Corporation, Marcelo Claure, to help lead efforts to manage WeWork.
Days later, WeWork’s Japan branch leadership changed. Chris Hill, who led the 2017 launch in the country, was replaced. He was close to former CEO Adam Neumann. The new Japan boss is Kazuyuki Sasaki, the former managing director of WeWork Japan.
In conjunction with these personnel changes at the top, the much-anticipated IPO for WeWork was cancelled in light of growing doubts about the firm’s direction. Analysts have been saying that the company’s business model is vulnerable in the case of an economic downturn due to its high fixed costs.
SoftBank and its Vision Fund are WeWork’s biggest investors, with about 29% ownership. There are about 25 existing or planned WeWork Tokyo locations.