Align closely with his personal interests
Adam Neumann is using WeWork to pursue his hobbies and personal interests. The WSJ published a scathing critique of the company’s investments in the past few years. Here are a few highlights:
- When Adam and Rebekah Neumann became dissatisfied with schooling options for their children, WeWork launched a private elementary school, WeGrow.
- WeWork paid $13.8 million in cash and stock for a 42% stake in Wavegarden, a maker of wave pools. Neumann is an avid surfer, and believes that surfing creates community. The company has since written down the value of the investment to zero.
- The co-working company led a $32 million investment in Laird Hamilton’s natural-foods business. Neumann frequently hits the waves with the surfing legend.
- The company paid more than $60 million to acquire a private jet for its CEO.
Heard in the Valley: Gene Munster’s Loup Ventures: “It’s concerning because you are mingling personal and company interests and that rarely turns out well… Public investors are less tolerant of this.” SoftBank declined to comment on the story.