New WeWork co-chiefs would reportedly each receive an $8.3-million golden parachute if they were fired or choose to leave


FILE PHOTO: A WeWork logo is seen outside its offices in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 30, 2019.  REUTERS/Kate Munsch/File Photo

  • Documents obtained by the Financial Times reportedly show that WeWork’s new co-chief executives Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham would each earn $8.3 million if they get fired or leave otherwise.
  • WeWork’s chief legal officer Jennifer Berrent would also receive $1.5 million if ousted and would not have to repay $12 million of retention bonuses, which could have been retrieved under her previous contract.
  • The new exit packages were negotiated after WeWork was acquired by SoftBank, following the company’s founder and CEO Adam Neumann stepping down in September.
  • Neumann received a $1.6 billion exit package, although the company itself has had to scale back its global expansion and let thousands of employees go.
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The Financial Times reports that WeWork would pay out nearly $17 million to its new co-chief executives if they were fired or left under circumstances that include diminution of their duties, cuts to their pay, or involuntary relocation.

Documents reviewed by the Financial Times and sources familiar with the matter also said the company’s chief legal officer Jennifer Berrent would receive $1.5-million if ousted under the same circumstances. The exit packages were negotiated under SoftBank’s acquisition of the venture real estate company, which has laid off thousands of employees and scaled back its global expansion following a disastrous initial public offering attempt.

Co-chief executives Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham took over WeWork after its founder and former CEO Adam Neumann stepped down, receiving a $1.6 billion exit package on the way out. 

Artie Minson (left) and Sebastian Gunningham, WeWork CEOs

Neumann could continue to earn hundreds of millions under a revised agreement that altered the terms of his remaining financial interests in the company. Berrent’s revised contract also means she will not have to repay $12 million of retention bonuses, something she could have had to do previously.

Details of the revised exit packages were sent to shareholders and employees, and the substantial sums are surprising given that the company’s board has considered alternate candidates for all three executives. The documents also said WeWork “may continue to experience [a] significant amount of turnover of senior management.”

Minson and Gunningham initially took $1.5 million salaries in September, and now report to Marcelo Claure, a SoftBank executive who was appointed executive chairman of WeWork. Berrent downgraded from a salary of over $871,000 to $600,000.

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