WeWork hires real estate veteran Sandeep Mathrani as CEO

WeWork hires real estate veteran Sandeep Mathrani as CEO
Sandeep Mathrani, 56, takes charge as WeWork CEO effective February 18
3 Feb, 2020

New York headquartered WeWork has hired real estate veteran Sandeep Mathrani as CEO, dousing out rumours surrounding potential candidates for the top job at the co-working space company.

“During this time, we have led an exhaustive search to identify a collaborative partner who is dedicated to the future success of WeWork. Sandeep is that person. He is the partner of choice with the right skills and experience as we work to execute WeWork’s transformation...” Marcelo Claure, executive chairman of the company board said.

WeWork, which billed itself as a “space-as-a-service” company in its S-1 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission back in August 2019, gets its first engineering degree holder CEO with Mathrani. 

He holds a Master of Engineering, Master of Management Science and Bachelor of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

In his most recent role, he served as CEO at Chicago, Illinois-headquartered real estate company Brookfield Property Partners’ retail group. Prior to that, he was CEO of another Chicago based real estate company called General Growth Properties, a role he had taken up right after it filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Mathrani managed to spin the business around before selling it to Brookfield for $15 billion.

Mathrani, 56, will replace Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, in the appointment effective February 18 according to a press release, issued from the company on Saturday.

The company said over the past 100 days, it has made changes in its operating model and organisation structure “with a clear governance structure to enable the proper execution of our plan with proper accountability throughout the organisation.”

The 100 days timeline rewinds back to October when the Softbank-backed company got thrown a $9.5 billion worth lifejacket from its largest investor in exchange of an 80% stake of the company. 

In September, controversial co-founder and then CEO Adam Nuemann stepped down, in what was viewed as a win for Softbank, according to several media reports.

“...we have also established a five-year, growth-led transformation plan that we believe will position WeWork to achieve profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis by 2021 and positive free cash flow in 2022...” Claude was further quoted as saying in Saturday’s statement. Claure is also Softbank’s COO.

The company had reportedly begun laying off about 2,400 employees globally at the severely loss-making company sets about chopping off costs, in November.

The WeWork India franchise, owned by Bengaluru-based real estate firm Embassy Group remains unfazed in its business aspirations. 

WeWork India, the New York headquartered firm’s local franchisee arm here, had reportedly planned to raise about $200 million by 2019. Having entered the subcontinent in 2017, WeWork operates about 57,000 desks in 34 locations across the National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad.

On Monday it announced the opening of two new workspaces in Mumbai and Bengaluru.