WeWork bosses tell employees job cuts are coming this month

WeWork had 12,500 employees as of the end of June. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) - WeWork's leaders told staff that job cuts are coming as soon as this month.

In a meeting with employees on Thursday (Oct 3), new co-chief executive officers Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham and co-founder Miguel McKelvey said that cost-cutting efforts would include layoffs, according to attendees, who asked not to be identified because the forum wasn't public. The cuts will be handled as "humanely" as possible, McKelvey and Minson said, according to the people.

Bloomberg reported last week that WeWork parent We Co is considering job cuts and the eliminated positions could number in the thousands. WeWork had 12,500 employees as of the end of June.

A WeWork representative declined to comment.

Minson apologised to staff at the meeting about the uncertainty that has roiled the company in recent weeks. The discussion took place at WeWork's Manhattan headquarters, and was live-streamed to all employees.

Executives said clients and tenants were still interested in WeWork's offerings, and implored staff to focus on its core business and customers. The executives also said they expect WeWork to continue to grow, but at a slower pace, and that the company planned to make some divestitures as part of an effort to "right-size" its business, according to the attendees.

Since WeWork's plan for an initial public offering went badly awry, leading to the ouster of co-founder Adam Neumann as CEO, the company's new leadership has said it plans to re-emphasize its office-rental business. As part of that, WeWork is said to be exploring a sale of several of its recent acquisitions, including event organizing platform Meetup, office management startup Managed by Q and marketing company Conductor.

The company is also canceling is upcoming WeWork Global Summit, once a famously over-the-top event. One employee asked if the event would still take place in January, and was told by executives it would not go ahead. At the 2019 global summit, speakers including Jaden Smith and Adam Rippon addressed WeWork employees.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.