Laid-Off WeWork Employees Aren’t Happy With Their Severance Packages

Hint: It's less than Adam Neumann's payout

Laid-off WeWork employees haven't fared as well as ousted CEO Adam Neumann
Jackal Pan/Visual China Group via Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / November 8, 2019 11:03 am

WeWork founder Adam Neumann famously made off with a $1.7 billion payout in the wake of the company’s recent implosion, but according to Recode, other laid-off employees haven’t fared so well.

Recode obtained a severance package extended to one of approximately 50 recently laid-off employees of WeWork-owned company Meetup. The package reportedly offered three months of “garden leave,” in which an employee remains on the payroll with full benefits, and one month of severance pay. Laid-off employees were also asked to sign away the right to sue the company and to agree to a non-compete clause prohibiting former employees from working for any potential competitors of WeWork’s multiple acquired companies for six to 12 months.

While, as Recode noted, three months’ pay may seem generous, the package pales significantly compared to the massive sum Neumann received after bringing his company to the brink of financial ruin.

“WeWork is happy to cash out Adam’s equity and give him a big check, but employees like me that need that cash aren’t getting any value for our equity,” one anonymous former Meetup employee told Recode. According to a recent poll, 85 percent of WeWork employees agree that Neumann’s exorbitant exit package wasn’t fair.

Another WeWork-owned company, the coding bootcamp Flatiron School, also saw a major round of layoffs this week as WeWork employees await larger cuts expected to affect around 4,000 workers.

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