Don’t discount Adam Neumann.
The disgraced former WeWork CEO may have lost his empire, but a source told The Post that Neumann, 41, is already plotting his mysterious next business move.
“It’s about what happened in the world because of the pandemic,” the source said. “He has big plans and is waiting for the right moment to announce them.”
Neumann has reportedly not seen Hulu’s animated new documentary “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $ 47 Billion Unicorn” detailing his spectacular rise and fall as CEO of what was once a space startup. of offices.
The entrepreneur is portrayed in the documentary as a charismatic but deluded charlatan who convinced financial actors, from Chase Bank’s Jamie Dimon to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, to guide him and give him billions for WeWork before all of it. went very wrong in August 2019.
Close friends and family have “described” the film to him, but the child prodigy joke does not see or read things about himself, a source told The Post.
Instead, he is hiding in his Greenwich Village home with his wife, Rebekah, and five children, working at the “new” company.
Neumann has not spoken publicly since leaving the company in September 2019, six weeks after his community office space company filed documents for an initial public offering, with a dazzling $ 47 billion valuation. But that valuation was cut in half over the following month, and the IPO failed amid revelations that the company was losing money and that its growth projections were wildly optimistic. Plus: reports of Neumann’s rock ‘n’ roll excesses, including savage spending and marijuana use aboard a private jet, and financial irregularities.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Neumann received $ 1.7 billion in exchange for severing most of his ties with WeWork.
He was also mocked for his pronouncements about wanting to live forever and referring to WeWork, essentially an office space subletting business, as something that would “raise the consciousness of the world.”
After losing the business, the family and their nannies moved to Israel to remain in hiding for several months. In a move meant to “simplify” life, the source said, the Neumanns have sold at least three of the six reported properties in their estimated $ 90 million portfolio, including one of their homes in the Hamptons, one in Westchester and a luxurious Gramercy Park. compound.
But three people who know Neumann, who grew up for a time on a kibbutz in Israel, told The Post that he does not lick his wounds or hide his head in shame, despite having dropped from Forbes’ billionaires list in 2020. after his net worth plummeted. from a maximum of $ 14 billion to $ 750 million.
“He feels like he made mistakes, but he also feels that the media made a splash with certain elements of the story,” a source familiar with the situation told The Post.
“The $ 47 billion valuation was probably a mistake. But WeWork is still a good company and he created it … He has hundreds of locations. I don’t know many people who can build a company like that in 10 years. “
He has also received the support of some unlikely people.
“I feel strange defending a competitor (sometimes quite stingy), but I am concerned about these WeWork documents and films,” Jamie Hodari, CEO and co-founder of Industrious, a WeWork rival, recently wrote on LinkedIn.
Hodari told The Post that he believes Neumann’s troubled reputation has unfairly tainted WeWork as a whole.
“Separating how Adam behaved professionally, you can’t ignore the fact that the man built a $ 9 billion company,” Hodari said. “Very few people have done it and in such a short time.”
Mick McConnell, a former senior vice president at WeWork who is no longer in contact with Neumann, told The Post that he thought Neumann had been too demonized.
“Adam put together a team of people like never seen before,” said McConnell, who is writing a book on WeWork. “We produce the space, something that has never been done before, and we change the way architecture and development will be done from now on. Working together will be even more relevant as people start working even more outside of the office. “
Neumann launched WeWork in 2010 with co-founder Miguel McKelvey, who is barely mentioned in the documentary, and his wife Rebekah, Gwyneth Paltrow’s cousin.
Rebekah, 42, a former aspiring actress and yoga instructor, is painted as a toxic New Age Lady Macbeth in both the documentary and her husband’s recent biography, Reeves Wiedeman’s “Billion Dollar Loser.”
According to Wiedeman, Rebekah’s fingerprints were all over the key element of the company’s near implosion in August 2019 when WeWork filed its S-1 form ahead of a planned initial public offering.
The Neumanns did not appear concerned that the document, codenamed “Wingspan,” would reveal We Work’s $ 1.6 billion losses, horrifying investors. Instead, Rebekah Neumann, whose title was Brand and Impact Director, commissioned a Vanity Fair photographer to take photos of celebrities and influencers like Anna Faris, Aimee Song, Ron Howard, and Arianna Huffington in the WeWork spaces, and included them in the presentation.
An insider who knows the couple said that some people expected Neumann to leave Rebekah after her embarrassing expulsion from the company.
“No way,” the source said. “Adam and Rebekah are dedicated to each other and dedicated to those children. There couldn’t be a greater contrast to the way Adam is publicly portrayed and what a family man he is. “
Rebekah, who started a “school of conscious entrepreneurship” for children within WeWork called “WeGrow” is reportedly hoping to rebrand and relaunch it as a new company called “Students for Life” or SOLFL (pronounced “soulful”) now. that WeWork has sold the rights to WeGrow back to her.
Meanwhile, Neumann, who hasn’t undergone therapy or any kind of rehab, an associate said, has invested in a number of startups, including a tech mortgage service, a residential janitorial service called Alfred, and some Israeli companies. .
He also came out of hiding in November to facilitate a deal between the head of a special-purpose acquisition company and SoftBank, the now majority owner of WeWork, that set the stage for the upcoming $ 9 billion IPO of his former company.
SoftBank originally bailed out WeWork after its first disastrous attempt to go public.
“[Adam’s] he’s still a positive and happy guy, ”an associate told The Post. “He’s honored, yes, but he’s here to stay.”