WeWork’s co-CEOs will walk away with millions in severance payments if SoftBank replaces them


After one month on the job, WeWork’s co-CEOs could walk away from the struggling startup with multi-million-dollar severance packages, according to a Bloomberg report from Gillian Tan, Ellen Huet, and Sridhar Natarajan on Wednesday.

WeWork’s two CEOs have not officially stated any plans to resign but with SoftBank now in control of the company through a $US9.5 billion rescue package announced on Tuesday, a change at the top is a strong possibility. If that were to happen, WeWork co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham will each be able to count on multi-million dollar golden parachutes to carry them away.

SoftBank’s deal with WeWork gives it 80% ownership of the money-losing office sharing company. SoftBank is reportedly looking at major layoffs across the company, in addition to removing leadership, as it hopes to turn the company profitable.

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Minson and Gunningham were appointed co-CEOs on September 24 following the ouster of WeWork’s cofounder Adam Neumann as the startup struggled to pull off a planned IPO. Neumann, for his part, is set to walk off with $US1.7 billion as part of the rescue package from SoftBank, a portion of which is earmarked as a consulting fee SoftBank will pay to Neumann. Neumann had to relinquish his board seat as part of the deal, and is able to sell $US1 billion of his preferred stock back to SoftBank.

SoftBank appointed its executive Marcelo Claure the executive chairman of WeWork on Tuesday. Claure is expected to oversee cost-cutting and restructuring of WeWork as part of the SoftBank deal, but his role has not been finalised and multiple reports indicate that SoftBank is committed to conducting a CEO search.

A WeWork spokeswoman did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.