WeWork Founder Adam Neumann Abandons Bid to Regain Control of the Company

WeWork Founder Adam Neumann Abandons Bid to Regain Control of the Company

Adam Neumann
Photo: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for the WeWork Creator Awards (Getty Images)

Adam Neumann is going to end his effort to buy WeWork. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company’s once-jettisoned founder has changed his mind about trying to regain control of it.

“For several months, we tried to work constructively with WeWork to create a strategy that would allow it to thrive,” Neumann reportedly said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, the company looks to be emerging from bankruptcy with a plan that appears unrealistic and unlikely to succeed.”

WeWork is an office rental company he founded in 2010. It’s like a big co-working space that individuals and companies can use when they need a desk and meeting rooms and things like that. WeWork got a lot of hype — Vanity Fair reports that Neumann became such a prominent businessman that Donald Trump aide Jared Kushner once enlisted him to tout the opportunities in an “economically transformed” Palestine that would come out of Kushner’s Middle East peace proposal — and it filed to go public in 2019. A few months later, shareholders realized that the hype wasn’t translating into business success, and investor SoftBank paid Neumann $1.7 billion to leave the company and give up control.

Neumann departed just before the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced office demand. WeWork filed for bankruptcy in November, and Neumann put in a bid for it.

This article originally appeared on Quartz.

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