Sep 13, 2019

WeWork reins in CEO to save IPO

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

WeWork tried breathing new life into its IPO this morning with a new filing disclosing significant changes to voting structure, lockups, profit-sharing, and succession-planning.

Why it matters: Almost all of this is about reducing the power of co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann, who remains more controversial among many investors than WeWork's business model.

As such, the company said it will:

  • Cut the power of Neumann's super-voting stock from 20 votes per share to 10 votes per share, and convert it to one vote per share if Neumann were to die or become incapacitated.
  • Give WeWork's board the ability to remove Neumann as CEO and choose a successor. It also plans to name an independent director by year-end.
  • Neumann already pledged not to sell any stock in the first year post-IPO, and now will limit any sales in years two and three to no more than 10% of his holdings.
  • Neumann also "will give to the company any profits he receives from the real estate transactions he has entered into with the company." Unclear if this also includes past profits.
  • All of this follows Neumann's recent return to the company of a $5.9 million stock payment for the "We" family of trademarks.

The bottom line: Last month we wrote that WeWork had put its IPO at risk via a series of unforced errors, many of which could be corrected in amended filings. The company has now done just that. What we still don't know is if fund managers will be willing to forgive and invest, or if they just can't shake their first impression.

Go deeper: WeWork CEO returns $5.9 million "trademark payment" to the company

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.

Trumpworld's plan to brand Biden

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP

Trump's advisers relish the contrast between his public appearances and Joe Biden's lack thereof. The former vice president, following the guidance of public experts, has eschewed public events and stayed home for months now. Trump, meanwhile, is out and about — masks be damned.

What we're hearing: Watch for plenty more mask-free outings from Trump, hyping the reopening of the economy and avoiding discussions of social distancing and death counts.