Long-anticipated layoffs at WeWork have begun, part of the struggling office-sharing company’s plan to cut costs after staggering losses.
WeWork said Thursday that the reductions will affect 2,400 employees globally. They will receive severance and continued benefits and other forms of assistance, according to an emailed statement.
The job cuts represent almost 20% of the company’s global workforce, which totaled 12,500 as of June 30. Bonds WeWork issued last year to help fund its expansion fell deeper into distress on Thursday, reaching a record low of 69.7 cents on the dollar, according to Trace bond pricing data.
“We are grateful for the important roles they have played in building WeWork over the last decade,” a company spokesperson said. Staff reductions began weeks ago in regions around the world and continued this week in the U.S.
At the company’s Manhattan headquarters, there was an enhanced security presence on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
WeWork, co-founded by former CEO and chairman Adam Neumann, is seeking to stabilize its business and show a path to profitability. The New York-based company scrapped an initial public offering in September, and its valuation has plummeted from $47 billion as recently as January to about $8 billion.
The company reported a net loss of $1.25 billion in the third quarter, eclipsing its sales and more than doubling its loss from the same period last year.
Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure told staff in an email Monday that the process, which will involve eliminating and scaling back some functions and responsibilities, “will make us stronger and better able to generate even more opportunities over the coming months and years.”
Claure said he plans to brief staff about the company’s future on Friday, when he’s expected to tease a five-year plan for WeWork.