Adam Neumann: who is WeWork co-founder played by Jared Leto in Apple TV+ drama WeCrashed - where is he now?

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Neumann’s wife Rebekah is played by Anne Hathaway in the series

Apple TV Plus true life drama WeCrashed follows the chaotic relationship and business dealings of WeWork founder Adam Neumann and his partner Rebekah.

Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway lead the cast of the new series which lands on Apple TV Plus on 18 March.

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WeWork is a real estate and workspace solutions company, which experienced meteoric success before a sudden crash in 2019.

With WeCrashed, Apple TV has managed to create a compelling drama that explores insatiable greed and hubris in modern business.

Here’s everything you need to know about Adam Neumann, Rebekah Neumann, and WeWork:

Adam Neumann founded co-working company WeAdam Neumann founded co-working company We
Adam Neumann founded co-working company We | Getty Images for Time

Who is WeWork founder Adam Neumann?

Neumann is an Israeli businessman estimated to be worth 1.4 billion USD (£1 billion).

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He established GreenDesk, a sustainable shared-working business venture with his business partner Miguel McKelvey in 2008.

After selling the business, the pair launched WeWork in 2010 and within four years it was recognised as a hugely successful office real estate business.

WeWork leases co-working office spaces in more than 100 cities across the world - there are more than 40 WeWork spaces just in London,

Part of WeWork’s allure were the freebies offered to tenants, such as unlimited free beer for those who use the WeWork offices.

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The company announced last call on that idea in 2018, but still allowed tenants four free glasses of beer each per day.

The business continued to grow, eventually gaining a valuation of 47 billion USD (£36.6 billion), but concerns over Neumann’s behaviour began to emerge.

There were allegations that Neumann ran the company like a cult, and the New Yorker reported that company staff were made to wear tracking bracelets at a work retreat.

A former employee also accused Neumann of plying her with tequila shots during her initial interview.

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Who is Rebekah Neumann?

Rebekah Neumann, the cousin of actress and Goop founder Gwenyth Paltrow, is the wife of Adam Neumann.

During the early years of WeWork, she acted as an informal advisor, but took on a more active role in the business, founding and becoming CEO of WeGrow, a private school in Manhattan in 2017.

When parent company WeWork ran into trouble in 2019, Rebekah stepped down as CEO of WeGrow and ended her role in WeWork - WeGrow closed in 2020.

Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway star as Alan and Rebekah Neumann in WeCrashedJared Leto and Anne Hathaway star as Alan and Rebekah Neumann in WeCrashed
Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway star as Alan and Rebekah Neumann in WeCrashed | Getty Images for SXSW

What happened to WeWork?

After a period of what seemed like unending success for the business, everything changed in April 2019 when WeWork filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), hoping to raise 3.5 billion USD.

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An IPO moved a company from private to public through the sale of shares to investors.

Rather than the $47 billion that had previously been touted, WeWork gained a valuation of just $10 billion, leaving a $37 billion question mark hanging over the company’s management.

Following the valuation, both Neumann’s stepped down from the company, - although don’t feel too bad for them - Adam’s exit package was reportedly $1.7 billion.

In a bid to save the company, more than 2,000 staff - about a fifth of the workforce - was laid off, and new management was brought in.

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WeWork has so far managed to survive Neumann’s calamitous legacy, launching a workplace management app this year.

What is Adam Neumann doing now?

Neumann used his WeWork payout to acquire majority stakes in apartment buildings worth $1 billion in several major US cities from Miami to Nashville.

He also told CNN last November that he was looking to the future and was interested in investing in crypto currencies.

While wunderkind to crypto bro isn’t the most sublime ark, it’s not exactly unusual in the business world.

A message from the editor:

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