• Companies WeWork's Curse Has No End

WeWork was a business unicorn, an almost invincible creation seconded by Silicon Valley's brightest minds and venture capital like stopping a truck. At its peak, it was worth $47 billion, four times the GDP of the Bahamas, and the visionary behind it, the eccentric Adam Neumann, dreamed of joining the billionaires' club with his no less controversial wife, Rebekah Paltrow, cousin of Gywneth, the Hollywood actress. But the soufflé deflated at a meteoric speed, as did the reputation of a couple accustomed to moving in the upper echelons of New York society.

It took six weeks for WeWork to collapse like a house of cards. Neumann, a 44-year-old former Israeli army veteran, filed the IPO petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2019 and immediately uncovered a Pandora's box. What should have been the crowning glory of a genius turned into his grave as an entrepreneur. His dubious financial practices and the company's huge debts came to light, along with a sizable list of eccentricities. His lifestyle became an issue for his long list of investors.

Find out more


Gwyneth Paltrow's billionaire cousin: $1.700 billion, five children and spectacular mansions

  • Written by: LUIS FERNANDO ROMO

Gwyneth Paltrow's billionaire cousin: $1.700 billion, five children and spectacular mansions

Neumann and his wife squandered millions of dollars in the decade of their rise. The money poured in hand with the trust given to it by firms such as Microsoft, Volkswagen, Pinterest and Google. From Softbank alone, the Japanese holding company, it received an injection of $4.400 billion, enough to afford two mansions in New York's Hamptons, a $35 million apartment in Manhattan and a house in San Francisco with all kinds of extravagances: a guitar-shaped lounge, a three-story slide for the pool and even a spa.

You, dude, are full of shit. Every word that comes out of his mouth is fake

His delusions of grandeur helped inspire the series depicting his rise and fall, Apple TV+'s WeCrashed, where Neumann is painted as an egomaniac who liked to live like a French king at Versailles. In one of the scenes, he was woken up by a servant who, in addition to opening the curtains of his luxury bedroom, provided him with the first dose of marijuana of the day on a silver platter. It's not his only hobby. Neumann has a passion for tequila, sports cars, and private jets.

He met his wife through a mutual friend and already on the first date he seemed to glimpse what others took years to discover. "It took him five minutes to look me in the eye and say, 'You, dude, you're full of shit. Every word that comes out of his mouth is false.'" They married in 2008 and have six children.

She was the one who inspired the idea of WeWork and the one who put up the money to rent the first space, responsible after the bacchanals that the company organized for its employees and an educational branch, WeGrow, which never finished forging.

View this post on Instagram

Despite the debacle, Neumann has weathered the collapse of his dream and the subsequent bankruptcy. He remains an immensely wealthy man. His fortune is around $1.700 billion, according to Bloomberg, attributed in large part to his ability to squeeze the most out of his company's returns when it was still giving off the air of a viable project.

The Israeli received $245 million in compensation when he was replaced by Artie Minson as chief executive in 2019, plus an additional shower of millions as part of a deal with the board of directors to avoid competition and subsequent lawsuits: $185 million on the one hand and $106 million on the other, in addition to the $578 million for a package of shares sold by Neumann.

View this post on Instagram

In a statement, he lamented the fall from grace of his invention launched in 2008 with Miguel McKelvey, with the storm clouds of the global economic crisis about to unload. They started renting office space to anyone who needed a workplace. More than just a rental service, his idea was to create a community to collaborate and escape the feeling of loneliness. The idea took off and between 2010 and 2019 they went from 450 to more than half a million customers. They opened branches all over the country, began to attract the attention of bigwigs, and Neumann believed that his short-lived legend would live on.

"It has been a challenge for me to observe since 2019 how WeWork has failed to leverage a product that is more relevant today than ever," he said in a statement.

In the air, the possibility of a reunion between Neumann and his creation. The fact that the company has filed for bankruptcy opens up this option again, according to Bloomberg. The entrepreneur has already been contacted to help revive the brand once the agreement that prohibited competition has expired.