WeWork CEO Adam Neumann told his staff to lay off 20% of the company’s workers each year, according to a new article from The Wall Street Journal detailing Neumann’s management style.
The Journal also reported that his wife and cofounder, Rebekah Neumann, had asked for multiple employees to be fired after meeting them for just a few minutes.
Adam Neumann was disappointed by how many “B” players the startup had hired during its expansion, but managers couldn’t eliminate one in five employees as requested, the report said.
WeWork did fire 7% of its staff in 2016. According to The Journal, during an all-hands meeting at WeWork’s New York City headquarters, Neumann described those layoffs as necessary to cut costs. Moments later, employees at the meeting were served shots of tequila — there were toasts and more drinks, and the evening ended with a performance by Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC.
The Journal described former executives as saying Neumann’s “outlandish” cost-cutting goals helped produce better results than “more realistic” goals would have.
The article goes on to describe some of Neumann’s personal tastes, including Don Julio 1942 tequila costing more than $100 per bottle.
WeWork, which rebranded as The We Company earlier this year, had been preparing a September initial public offering but this week chose to delay it because of a lack of investor interest.
The We Company was privately valued at $47 billion at the start of the year but is said to have considered a public valuation below $20 billion ahead of its IPO.
Neumann told employees he had been “humbled” by the IPO process and said he had lessons to learn about running a public company, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.