WeWork has named veteran real estate executive Sandeep Mathrani as its new chief executive officer, effective February 18.
Mathrani most recently served as CEO of Brookfield Properties’ retail group. Before that, he was CEO of GGP for eight years before it was bought by Brookfield. Before joining GGP in 2010, Mathrani was president of retail for Vornado Realty Trust. Before that, he spent nearly a decade as executive vice president at Forest City Ratner.
“We have led an exhaustive search to identify a collaborative partner who is dedicated to the future success of WeWork. Sandeep is that person,” said WeWork’s executive chairman Marcelo Claure. “He is the partner of choice with the right skills and experience as we work to execute WeWork’s transformation. He is a proven leader with turnaround expertise in the real estate industry, and we are thrilled to welcome him to WeWork.”
He replaces acting co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, who stepped in to stabilize WeWork after the departure of former CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann. Neumann received a billion-dollar payout under a bailout deal that gave SoftBank 80% ownership of the beleaguered startup company.
Mathrani will report to Claure, who recruited him to join the company. Claure is also a board director and chief operating officer of SoftBank Group. He became WeWork executive chairman as part of the SoftBank deal.
Minson and Gunningham will remain with the company through a transition period.
In October, SoftBank announced it was investing $5 billion in the company and accelerating a $1.5 billion equity investment due next year to increase its equity stake to 80%.
In a statement, Claure said the company has been recapitalized and has a plan in place that will provide $2.5 billion in liquidity.
“With a strong liquidity position in place, we have also established a five-year, growth-led transformation plan that we believe will position WeWork to achieve profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis by 2021 and positive free cash flow in 2022,” he said.
WeWork lost $1.9 billion in 2018, according to its IPO prospectus. It lost $904 million during the first half of 2019. The company reportedly had a valuation of $47 billion during one investment round, and its IPO had been one of the most anticipated offerings of 2019.
Photo by Tony Favarula/Andrew Collings Photography