WeWork co-founder cashes out over $700m

Analysts and investors are up in arms after WeWork’s CEO cashed out over $700m ahead of the company’s IPO.

July 22, 2019

Adam Neumann, the surfer-haired, spiritually-minded CEO of WeWork, has cashed out more than $700m ahead of the workspace sharing juggernaut’s IPO through a bevy of stock sales and debt.

This has left some analysts scratching their heads, as startup founders generally wait to hit public markets before turning those holdings into sweet liquid.

A man on a mission

Since WeWork was founded 9 years ago, Neumann has invested largely in real estate ($80m for 5 homes). His other investments include commercial properties and stakes in startups, including a medical cannabis company. 

Some worry the cashout will reflect poorly on WeWork’s IPO, raising questions of Neuman’s confidence in the company.

But, on the contrary…

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Neumann, who’s still WeWork’s single largest shareholder, has made it a habit to sell and borrow against some of his holdings in nearly every investment round since 2014.

People close to Neumann argue that borrowing against his WeWork shares indicates that he’s more than optimistic of the company’s future.

Maybe he was just low on cash and needed a pair of hiking sandals?

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