SoftBank’s Son to tap COO Marcelo Claure to help turn around WeWork

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp. is tapping Marcelo Claure to help turn around WeWork, after ousting co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann from the corner office earlier this week.

Masayoshi Son, the head of SoftBank, WeWork’s largest investor, has asked the former chief executive officer of Sprint Corp. to take a more hands-on role helping oversee a cleanup of the office-rental company from his position at SoftBank, said people familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. No decision has been made on his exact role, the people said.

Claure will help WeWork’s new leadership identify revenue and cost-saving opportunities, one of the people said.

Representatives for WeWork, SoftBank and Claure declined to comment.

In Claure, Son would be tapping an executive with a track record of fixing companies and overseeing his firm’s investments.

The 48-year-old joined SoftBank in 2013, when the Japanese firm bought Brightstar, a phone distribution company Claure ran. Son tapped him in 2014 to run Sprint, which he helped turn around prior to the company’s pending sale to rival T-Mobile US Inc. He remains executive chairman of Sprint.

Claure is currently chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, CEO of its international operations and a member of its board. He also oversees the firm’s $5 billion technology fund focused on Latin America, which it launched this year.

After clashing with Rajeev Misra, head of the Vision Fund, the firm’s $100 billion investment vehicle, Claure changed his role at SoftBank, Bloomberg reported in February. Claure, already a chief operating officer of SoftBank Group, was tasked with leading a new Latin America investment fund and helping Vision Fund companies expand into that region. He retained his duties overseeing SoftBank Group assets such as asset manager Fortress Investment Group, Sprint Corp., ARM Holdings Plc and WeWork.

Neumann stepped down as a chief executive officer of WeWork this week under pressure from SoftBank and other backers. Neumann was named non-executive chairman while senior WeWork executives Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson were appointed co-CEOs.

The management shake-up came after WeWork’s plan to raise $3 billion in an initial public offering this month disintegrated over corporate governance concerns and boardroom drama.

We Co., WeWork’s parent company, has likely delayed its IPO until 2020, people familiar with the matter said this week.

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.