Read the Long Rallying Cry Memo from WeWork’s New Chairman
Posted on 11/08/2019
WeWork’s new Chairman Marcelo Claure released a memo to employees:
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I hope you all had a good week. Before I dig into this week’s update, I want to share a personal story with you.
I ran the New York City Marathon last Sunday. I’m a big guy, and it may not have been the prettiest sight, but I finished – and while challenging, it was extremely rewarding. I got to see all five boroughs of New York from the ground up, running alongside people from all around the world. And as I ran, I realized that we serve a group of companies and individuals as diverse as New York itself – from startups in Brooklyn, to enterprises in Manhattan, to day-one entrepreneurs in Queens. Over 26 miles, I got an incredibly humbling sense of the sheer scale of humanity we serve every single day.
In moments of rapid change, it’s not always easy to pause and give each other credit, but these are actually the times when it’s most important to do just that. Our members, in locations from New York to Madrid and beyond, are changing the world with their products and services – and they’ve put their trust in this team to help them do it. We make their work possible. This month we already opened more than 30 new locations in cities around the world – Austin, Bengaluru, Berlin, Birmingham, Bogota, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Kobe, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, Los Angeles, Manila, Moscow, New York, Noida, Osaka, Paris, Philadelphia, Perth, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, St. Louis, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Washington DC. They, too, will soon fill up with companies – start-ups working alongside established organizations that are relying on us to be part of their future. You make their innovations possible every day, and you should be proud of that.
I also want to take this moment to emphasize an important aspect of our culture that we should all focus on as we move forward – which is how we accomplish all we set out to do. We are a culture that believes in making the impossible possible. I want that culture to continue, but always with integrity and respect – respect for the law, our policies and, most importantly, each other.
This conversation is hard: I have heard complaints about people acting in a manner that does not meet our behavioral expectations. When we hear about an issue, you have my commitment that we will investigate it and act on our findings. By way of example, we recently investigated complaints of abuse of our vendor selection and management processes. Upon completion of these investigations, we terminated the employment of 13 employees across Latin America (Latam) and U.S., Canada and Israel (USCI). We corrected these wrongs immediately after we heard the complaint and investigated the incidents.
I want to be clear – WeWork will not tolerate behavior that disrespects our people, members, or business. We encourage you to share any concerns through our Helpline. No one will be retaliated against for coming forward in good faith. We know we can build a strong culture of compliance only if you can come forward with concerns, as our colleagues recently did in Latam and USCI.
We want you to be part of shaping the future culture – a culture that we are proud to be part of and values integrity and respect at its core.
I know that this has been a very difficult time. Layoffs and restructuring are on everyone’s minds- and how could they not be? These are the toughest decisions we have to make, but the unfortunate reality is that we will have to complete layoffs in the next several weeks. Our top priority is treating those who will ultimately leave us with dignity and respect including fair severance packages and continuation of benefits that allow them to transition to the next phase of their journey.
However, I do want to emphasize that the business is secure. This week, I sent letters to our top enterprise customers, landlords, brokers and Community teams, letting them know that WeWork’s business plan for the next few years is fully funded. Softbank’s $6.5B in debt and equity brings our total committed capital to $18.5B, making this one of the largest investments ever made into a private company in history. We can now turn our full attention to what matters most: Serving our members and getting this organization back on a path to sustainable growth.
This is a lot of information, and we’re moving fast. Looking forward, we’re also in the process of finalizing an updated WeWork five-year strategic plan. It will include:
A new operating and governance model that emphasizes accountability and fairness to every employee
A new organizational and compensation structure
Financial restructuring that will ensure WeWork has the right cost structure it needs to grow sustainably, without needing to raise more capital
I’ll be presenting this plan to the WeWork Board of Directors on Tuesday, November 19. After that, we’ll be scheduling an All Company Meeting where I’ll share the same document with you. This plan will be our North Star for the next five years, and it’s vital that we feel it represents who we are as a company and the path we all want to be on together.
In the meantime, please continue to share your thoughts with me. I’ve received hundreds of emails, and I read every one of them.
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Keywords: Public Investment Fund, WeWork Company, Softbank Group Corporation.