ReutersSep 25, 2019 00:17:02 IST
By Joshua Franklin and Anirban Sen
NEW YORK/BENGALURU (Reuters) - WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has agreed to resign as chief executive of the U.S. office-sharing company but will remain as non-executive chairman, bowing to pressure from some of his investors, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The decision, taken at a board meeting on Tuesday, follows a challenge to Neumann's authority by his biggest investors, including Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, venture capital firm Benchmark Capital and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, the sources said.
The investors amassed a majority on We Company's seven-member board to push for Neumann's resignation as CEO, one of the sources added.
Artie Minson, currently chief financial officer of WeWork parent We Company, and Sebastian Gunningham, a vice chairman for the New York-based start-up, will become co-chief executives, the sources said.
The leadership changes come after We Company postponed its initial public offering (IPO) last week following push-back from perspective investors, not just over its widening losses, but also over Neumann’s unusually firm grip on the company.
This was a blow for SoftBank, which was hoping for We Company's IPO to bolster its fortunes as it seeks to woo investors for its second $108 billion Vision Fund. It invested in We Company at a $47 billion valuation in January.
We Company declined to comment.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)
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