Sep 19, 2019

When do-gooders don't

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We, the parent company of WeWork, is on a very high-minded mission. That mission is, literally, "to elevate the world's consciousness."

Reality check: We is also a company whose founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder is reportedly happy to leave "a sizable chunk" of marijuana in a chartered Gulfstream jet, opening up its owner to significant criminal liability. The same man "instructed staff to fire 20% of employees a year."

Between the lines: Kickstarter is a company dedicated to having a "radically positive impact on society." As a chartered Benefit Corporation, it attests that it's more interested in its community than in its profits.

  • Kickstarter is also fighting a unionization drive. It has fired 3 of the 8 members of its union organizing committee, and refuses to voluntarily recognize the union.
  • Kickstarter is risking its much-vaunted status by doing so. "Specific actions taken against a unionization drive may jeopardize a company’s B Corp status," a representative of B Lab, the company that certifies companies as B Corps, tells Axios.

Etsy used to be a B Corp, but then it fired its CEO and more than 200 other employees, gave up its B Corp status and started becoming much more profitable.

The bottom line: Companies love to talk about their grand ideals. But those ideals can get thrown under the bus very quickly if profits lie elsewhere.

Go deeper

We(re)Work: One week, many changes

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

It's been just a few days since WeWork fired CEO Adam Neumann, but his co-CEO replacements Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham have already made a number of significant changes.

Why it matters: The company still needs to raise new capital from somewhere, so turnaround speed is of the essence.

Moves so farArrowSep 28, 2019

WeWork's Adam Neumann to step down as CEO

Adam Neumann. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for WeWork

Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, is stepping down as chief executive of its parent company, the We Company, Axios has confirmed. He will become the non-executive chairman of the company while two executives take over as co-CEOs.

Why it matters: For a decade, Neumann was the face of the office co-working company, leading the business to a massive $47 billion valuation before it struggled to get its IPO off the ground over the last couple of weeks.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

WeWork will close its school WeGrow in 2020

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeGrow, an educational branch of WeWork, will be closing its doors at the end of 2019-2020 academic year so its parent company can focus on the office-sharing business, reports Reuters.

Why it matters: The company is cutting expenses by laying off employees and closing or selling business units deemed nonessential to its operations in an effort to avoid running out of money, per Reuters.

Go deeperArrowOct 12, 2019