WeWork names David Tolley as CEO to boost turnaround efforts

By Kannaki Deka

(Reuters) -WeWork on Monday named interim Chief Executive David Tolley as its CEO, with the former Blackstone executive given the charge of turning around the flexible workspace provider’s ailing business.

SoftBank-backed WeWork’s shares were up 2.1% at $2.41.

Tolley, who was CFO of satellite operator Intelsat from 2019 to 2022, has been a WeWork board member since February 2023 and was interim CEO since May 2023.

WeWork has been in turmoil ever since its plans to go public in 2019 imploded as investors worried over its hefty losses and began to doubt its business model of taking long-term leases and renting them for the short term.

It finally went public in 2021 at a much-reduced valuation.

WeWork took a series of measures last year to save cash such as exiting locations, cutting jobs and striking a deal to reduce debt.

CEO Sandeep Mathrani resigned in May, followed by the exit of CFO Andre Fernandez in the same month.

The company raised “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue operations in August in a stunning reversal of fortune for a company that was once privately valued at $47 billion.

WeWork then went ahead with a one-for-forty reverse stock split to regain compliance with listing requirements.

The company, which has benefited from a pandemic-driven shift to flexible work, reported a 3% drop in total physical memberships in August compared with a year earlier, citing increasing competition, macroeconomic volatility and softer-than-anticipated demand.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Shounak Dasgupta)