The We Company reverts to WeWork name to highlight office-sharing roots

FILE PHOTO: A WeWork logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The We Company, parent of money-losing shared office provider WeWork, which last year yanked plans to go public after harsh criticism over its business model and erratic management, is dropping the “we” moniker to revert to its better-known name, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Restoration of WeWork as the official name is the most symbolic effort to date by management installed last year by majority owner SoftBank Group Corp to focus on its core officesharing business.

The “we” brand was introduced in January 2019 by WeWork’s co-founder, Adam Neumann, with the aim of broadening the shared office space business to a lifestyle company.

Neumann was widely criticized when the company disclosed he had trademarked the brand and received a $5.9 million payment from WeWork for its use.

Neumann, who was replaced as chief executive and stepped off the WeWork board last year after the company abandoned plans to go public, later said he would return the money.

Sandeep Mathrani, the new CEO, said in the memo announcing the name change that the move is another step in returning the company to WeWork’s officesharing roots.

We want to be strategic. We want to be innovative. We want to be impactful. We want to be WeWork,” Mathrani wrote.

We are officially restoring our company name from The We Company to WeWork,” the memo said.

WeWork, which has been slammed by the coronavirus-induced recession along with many other businesses, has said it will become profitable by the end of 2021.

The company hopes to benefit from corporations that are reducing their real estate footprint because of the pandemic and have looked to working from home and greater use of flexible workspace, which WeWork can provide with its global footprint.

Since Neumann’s exit Mathrani has hired new management and cut headcount in an effort to steer the company to profitability.

WeWork in August said it had slashed its cash burn rate to $482 million in the second quarter, or almost in half from the end of 2019. The company also said it had obtained a $1.1 billion commitment in new financing from SoftBank.

WeWork withdrew its public offering in September 2019 that looked to value the company at $47 billion and make it one of the year’s hottest IPOs.

WeWork soon entered a tailspin as its valuation fell to less than $8 billion. After a management shake-up it remains enmeshed in lawsuits over a $3 billion tender offer to existing shareholders.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

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.