Corporate people getting busted for stuff they say

Recent texts from Masayoshi Son shows shady tactics while he was trying to get out of a WeWork deal.

October 30, 2020

The WeWork drama keeps on keeping on.

Last October, SoftBank tried to salvage WeWork’s failed IPO by making an offer to take over the beleaguered real estate startup for $9.5B.

The bid included $3B for WeWork shareholders, including those owned by its ex-CEO, Adam “shoes are optional” Neumann.

Well, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son didn’t want to pay out

In a series of undated texts that recently came to light, Son asked one of his top lieutenants (Marcelo Claure) to delay the tender offer:

  • Son: “It’s great to postpone the close of tender… Use whatever excuse to make senses [sic].”
  • Claure: “Ok. Will use antitrust. I am turning good at excuses like someone I know very well :).”

The tender never went through and SoftBank was actually within its legal rights to walk away from the offer — but the texts don’t look great.

A few other not-so-great corporate communications

Here are 2 from our favorite Harvard dropouts-turned-billionaires:

  • Mark Zuckerberg once sent an IM to a friend outlining how he was going to screw the Winklevoss Twins: “Yeah, I’m going to f**k them… probably in the ear.”
  • Paul Allen (who was recovering from cancer at the time) overheard Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer discussing his future with Microsoft: “They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders.”

C’mon guys!

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