- Under Adam Neumann, inter-office relationships at WeWork proliferated, according to a Business Insider investigation.
- In 2018, a woman on the real estate team sent the company a 50-page letter of wide-ranging allegations about the company’s culture, including about relationships between colleagues and between subordinates and their managers.
- That document, which led to a company investigation, eventually resulted in a more than $2 million settlement. Now, WeWork’s new CEO said he’s leading a company that doesn’t tolerate poor behavior.
- For Business Insider’s full investigation, click here.
Couples at WeWork weren’t a human resources problem – they could be celebrated.
One couple that met at WeWork was presented with a “member for life” keycard for their baby at Summer Camp, WeWork’s raucous annual party that ended after 2018. And cofounder Miguel McKelvey met his girlfriend when she was a junior employee at WeWork, though she did not report to him.
To be sure, many companies allow inter-office relationships, although not typically between managers and subordinates.
In the spring of 2018, a woman who once worked in WeWork’s real estate business sent the company a 50-page document alleging drug use, sexual harassment, and pay discrimination. The document, which set out the terms of a threatened lawsuit, was obtained by Business Insider.
WeWork then launched an investigation, which discovered instances of managers sleeping with coworkers and subordinates, echoing an allegation from the document that a senior manager admitted to the woman that he slept “with two direct female subordinates.”
Her document also claimed she saw a male executive openly smoking marijuana at the company’s Summit – a mandatory all-staff event – in 2016. The executive then allegedly told the woman “‘he wanted to have a go” with another female subordinate who was visibly drunk, according to the document.
A former top male manager said that WeWork employees slept together, not just in the real estate team but across the company.
WeWork’s new CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, has drawn a line between the WeWork of the past and the company he started leading on Tuesday. In a statement, he said WeWork has “zero tolerance” for violating company policy.
“It is our highest priority to ensure our employees feel safe and respected, and this starts at the top,” he said. “In this new chapter at WeWork we are fully invested in upholding a culture of integrity.”
A spokesman for Neumann, who was ousted in September, declined to comment.
For Business Insider’s full investigation into how the woman’s allegations sparked an investigation and eventually led to a settlement of more than $2 million, read here.
Have a WeWork tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-1627 using a non-work phone, email at [email protected], or Twitter DM at @MeghanEMorris. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
SEE ALSO: WeWork’s US president — and Adam Neumann’s friend — will leave days after the firm’s new CEO joins
READ MORE: Today’s the first day on the job for new WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani. Insiders told us why he’s the guy to pull off one of the most difficult turnarounds Silicon Valley has ever seen.
DON’T MISS: WeWork’s board shakeup sees 3 longtime directors depart. Another is leaving in April, and the company is adding its first female board member.
Join the conversation about this story »