- Rebekah Paltrow Neumann cofounded WeWork in 2010 alongside her husband, Adam Neumann, and Miguel McKelvey.
- WeGrow, the private primary school run by Paltrow Neumann inside WeWork’s headquarters, will close after the 2018-2019 school year, The Huffington Post’s Rebecca Klein reported October 11. Investor pushback led both Paltrow Neumann and Adam Neumann to give up their posts at the company, Bloomberg reported on September 24.
- Adam Neumann said in a press release on September 24 that he is stepping down as CEO but will remain WeWork’s chairman.
- WeWork first began to strip back Paltrow Neumann’s influence over the company in September, removing her from succession planning in the event of the death of her husband and banning her and members of the Neumann family from serving on the board, a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission September 13 shows.
- The couple was previously reported to have a net worth of at least $US4.1 billion, according to a Forbes estimate from March 2019. On October 10, Forbes officially lowered its estimate of Neumann’s wealth to $US600 million.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Rebekah Paltrow Neumann once wanted to be an actress, she told Fast Company. Later, she became a certified yoga instructor.
She went on to become the chief brand and impact officer of The We Company, before investor pushback led both her and her husband, former CEO Adam Neumann, to relinquish their titles,Bloomberg’s Michelle Davis, Ellen Huet, and Gillian Tan reported September 24.
Now, the private primary school Paltrow Neumann headed inside WeWork’s headquarters plans to shutter at the end of the school year, The Huffington Post’s Rebecca Klein reported October 11.
WeWork first began to strip back her influence over the company in September after filing to go public in August. The company removed her from succession planning in the event of the death of her husband and banned her and members of the Neumann family from serving on the board, a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission September 13 shows.
Paltrow Neumann cofounded the company – originally known by its most famous business, WeWork – alongside her husband, Adam Neumann, and Miguel McKelvey in 2010. She was also an early employee at the first coworking company Adam Neumann and McKelvey founded, Greendesk, according to Fast Company.
Neumann declined to comment through a WeWork representative.
Keep reading for a look at the life of Rebekah Paltrow Neumann.
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Rebekah Paltrow Neumann is described in The We Company’s S-1 filing as one of the cofounders and former CEO Adam Neumann’s “strategic thought partner.”
“Rebekah has been a strategic thought partner to Adam since our founding and has actively shaped the mission and strategy of The We Company and its global impact agenda, as well as being the primary voice and leading advocate for the We brand,” the filing says.
“Rebekah has never been paid a salary from us,” it says.
Paltrow Neumann, 41, is a graduate of Cornell University.
She’s a native of Bedford, New York, according to New York magazine.
She majored in business and earned a minor in Buddhism, according to her profile on WeGrow’s website.
Paltrow Neumann worked as a trader at the investment bank Salomon Smith Barney before coming to WeWork, Fast Company reported.
She has also dabbled in acting, appearing in several films.
Paltrow Neumann has long had spiritual pursuits — she reportedly once attended the Dalai Lama’s birthday party.
Paltrow Neumann has a certification in Jivamukti yoga and has travelled around the world to practice yoga, her profile on WeGrow’s website says.
She even once attended a birthday party for the Dalai Lama, according to Fast Company.
Paltrow Neumann is married to the WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann, but they didn’t try to separate work from their relationship.
“We don’t have a line at all between work and life,” Paltrow Neumann told Fast Company. “It’s not even a blurred line. There is no line.”
The couple met in 2009, Business Insider previously reported.
“And he walked in, and I saw that he was my soul mate,” she told Fast Company about their first meeting. “It’s the truth.”
Paltrow Neumann also tried to incorporate the couple’s five children in their former workplace.
Making her kids feel welcome at WeWork helps Paltrow Neumann balance her career and motherhood, she told Coveteur.
“Kids shouldn’t feel like work is something they’re not allowed to peek into,” she said. “So, for me, the biggest challenge was being able to bring those two worlds together.”
Paltrow Neumann also kept a basket of toys for her kids in her office, according to Coveteur.
Paltrow Neumann has made some controversial comments about her relationship with her husband.
“A big part of being a woman is to help men [like Adam] manifest their calling in life,” Paltrow Neumann said at WeWork Summer Camp in 2018, according to Property Week.
WeWork faced backlash on Twitter for Paltrow Neumann’s statements, but the company declined to comment to CNBC, though it provided more of her remarks from the event for context.
“The reality that I see today is that there is nothing bigger that women can do, in my opinion, than empower their partners,” Paltrow Neumann said, WeWork told CNBC, “and that can be a man, a woman, a friend, it doesn’t matter, but empower others.”
Paltrow Neumann helped her husband quit smoking and drinking soda, tossing his soda and cigarettes down the trash chute of her apartment, they told Fast Company.
After the pair was married, they shared a tiny studio apartment in the East Village.
Adam Neumann discussed his life in the building in an interview with Business Insider’s Alyson Shontell and Rich Feloni in May.
The Neumanns’ family office, 166 2nd Financial Services, is named after the building’s address, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The couple now owns several homes in New York.
The Neumanns own a six-bedroom townhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village that has a dedicated “stroller parking garage,” according to New York magazine.
The couple’s Hamptons home was purchased for $US1.7 million, according to New York magazine.
The Neumanns spend most of their time in New York, but in 2018 they purchased a $US21 million house in San Francisco that features a room shaped like a guitar.
They also own some of the commercial properties that house WeWork locations, bringing the estimated value of their entire real-estate portfolio to more than $US80 million, per The Wall Street Journal.
Paltrow Neumann was responsible for WeWork’s focus on wellness, according to Fast Company.
“Rebekah said, ‘Stop. No more talking about money,’ ” Adam Neumann told Fast Company in 2016. “We’re going to talk about wellness, happiness, fulfillment, and if the money is supposed to follow, it will. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, because we will be happy and fulfilled.”
The We Company represents one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year, Business Insider reported. The company encompasses the co-living development WeLive, Paltrow Neumann’s WeGrow, the gym Rise by We, and the original WeWork coworking business.
The business of wellness runs in Paltrow Neumann’s family: She is related to the actress and wellness icon Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gwyneth Paltrow is Paltrow Neumann’s cousin, Business Insider previously reported.
The two once even sat down for an interview for Paltrow’s lifestyle blog, Goop, to discuss WeGrow.
Paltrow Neumann was the CEO of WeGrow, a primary school run by WeWork.
She got the idea to add a school to the WeWork network of businesses after being unable to find a school liked for her daughter, she told Goop.
“We had a clear vision of the type of school we wanted her to attend – a place that would not only nurture growth in her mind but also her spirit, a place that had a real culture of kindness, where she would have a real connection to nature, and where her individual gifts, talents, and passions would be recognised and supported,” she said.
“Ultimately, we could not find such a place, so we decided to start WeGrow.”
The school had approximately 100 students from pre-school to fourth grade during the 2018-2019 school year according to HuffPost. Records from the New York State Education Department show that the school is located on the third floor of WeWork’s headquarters.
In The We Company’s S-1 filing, the Neumanns pledged to give $US1 billion to charitable causes.
The S-1 says the first contribution of that sort would be for “the conservation of over 20 million acres of intact tropical forest,” the same featured on the final page of the document, pictured here.
WeWork slashed Paltrow Neumann’s influence over the company in response to concern from potential investors.
Paltrow Neumann was removed from the succession planning in the event of Adam’s death as originally planned, the We Company said in a September 13 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All members of Adam Neumann’s family, including Paltrow Neumann, were also forbidden from serving on WeWork’s board. The decisions were made in “in response to market feedback,” according to the filing.
The company also reduced Adam Neumann’s voting power from 20 times that of an average shareholder to 10 times that of an average shareholder, the filing shows.
WeWork declined to comment to Business Insider on Paltrow Neumann’s role in WeWork’s succession plan at the time of the filing.
On September 24, Adam Neumann stepped down from his role as CEO, citing investor concerns. As Business Insider’s Ben Gilbert reported, Paltrow Neumann is also giving up her roles at the company.
Paltrow Neumann will remove herself from the company entirely, according to a report by Bloomberg’s Michelle Davis, Ellen Huet, and Gillian Tan. Adam Neumann will remain WeWork’s non-executive chairman.
“While our business has never been stronger, in recent weeks, the scrutiny directed toward me has become a significant distraction, and I have decided that it is in the best interest of the company to step down as chief executive,” Adam Neumann said in a statement.
Business Insider did not immediately receive a response to a request for comment on Paltrow Neumann’s employment status.
WeGrow now plans to shut down at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, it announced October 11.
“As part of the company’s efforts to focus on its core business, WeWork has informed the families of WeGrow students that we will not operate WeGrow after this school year,” a WeWork spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “WeWork and the families of WeGrow students are engaging in discussions with interested parties regarding plans for WeGrow for the following school year.”
The elementary school often rearranged school schedules without notice and some parents had already begun looking at other schools for next year even before the closure was announced, according to HuffPost’s Rebecca Klein.
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