- Vanity Fair published an exposé on WeWork’s rise and fall and the wild behaviour of cofounder and former CEO Adam Neumann.
- Neumann waltzed barefoot through WeWork’s offices with Drake and Ashton Kutcher in tow, helped Jared Kushner with his Middle East peace plan, and told his colleagues that “Steve Jobs” author Walter Isaacson might write his biography, the magazine reported.
- Scroll down for the seven craziest details from the Vanity Fair story.
- Jack Ma, Jedi, and surfing: These are the 10 juiciest details from Fast Company’s deep dive into WeWork
- For more stories on WeWork, click here.
1. Neumann helped Jared Kushner with his Middle East peace plan
Neumann reportedly helped his friend Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, with his plan to resolve conflict in the Middle East.
“WeWork executives were shocked to discover Neumann was working on Jared Kushner’s Mideast peace effort,” Vanity Fair reported.
Neumann tasked a WeWork director with hiring an advertising firm to create a video for Kushner showing what an economic renaissance in the West Bank and Gaza could look like, the magazine said.
Kushner presented a version of the video at the White House’s peace conference in Bahrain last summer.
2. Neumann hung out with Drake and Ashton Kutcher at WeWork’s offices
Neumann enjoyed befriending and working with celebrities.
He waltzed barefoot through WeWork’s headquarters with Drake and Ashton Kutcher in tow, according to Vanity Fair. Hugh Jackman was spotted at WeWork’s offices, Fast Company reported.
Neumann and his team also considered hiring Martin Scorsese to direct a series of videos promoting the WeWork brand, according to Ad Age.
3. Neumann said he convinced Rahm Emmanuel to run for president on the “WeWork Agenda”
Neumann told a WeWork investor he convinced Rahm Emmanuel, the former mayor of Chicago who also served as Barack Obama’s chief of staff, to run for president in 2020 on the “WeWork Agenda,” according to Vanity Fair.
The magazine first reported the story in September.
4. WeWork was more chaotic than Trump’s White House
The chaos inside WeWork “made the Trump White House look like a well-oiled machine,” a former senior executive told Vanity Fair.
The startup had two employees for every desk in its first headquarters, leading the company to distribute staff across New York City, the magazine reported. WeWork also signed lease after lease with minimal oversight from the top. “There was no discipline to how Adam approved leases,” a WeWork executive told Vanity Fair.
“No one knew what anyone was doing,” a real-estate broker, who worked with the startup during its rapid expansion, told the magazine.
5. Neumann told colleagues the author of “Steve Jobs” might write his biography
Neumann told colleagues that Walter Isaacson – the author of biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo Da Vinci – might write his biography, according to Vanity Fair.
The WeWork cofounder reminded Isaacson of the Apple cofounder. “Like Steve Jobs, he is very good at seeing the big picture,” Isaacson told Fast Company in May.
6. Neumann met with multiple world leaders
Neumann made time to meet with multiple world leaders. He discussed the Syrian refugee crisis with Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and chatted about urban planning with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, according to Vanity Fair.
The WeWork cofounder told colleagues he was saving Saudi Arabia’s women by working with the country’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to offer them coding classes, the magazine reported.
In a meeting with Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser, Neumann reportedly said he was the right mentor to help bin Salman navigate the fallout from the gruesome death of Jamal Khashoggi. He also saw Kushner, bin Salman, and himself as world saviors, Vanity Fair reported.
7. Neumann wanted WeWork to be like Bloomberg
Neumann enjoyed the freedom and lack of accountability that came with leading a private company, according to Vanity Fair. He wished to operate like Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire founder and boss of the eponymous financial-data group.
“Adam never wanted to go public,” a former WeWork executive told the magazine. “His ideal was Bloomberg. He wanted to remain private so he could do whatever the f*** he wanted.”
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