Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann reportedly hosted a 9 a.m. party for employees to celebrate the company going public

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WeWork documentary
  • WeWork's co-founders threw a party for the company's first employees to celebrate its public listing, the Financial Times reported.

  • Neumann, who resigned as CEO in 2019, has a roughly 10% stake in the company.

  • The flexible workspace provider started trading on the stock market on Thursday under the ticker symbol "WE."

In a hotel in New York City's Meatpacking District, WeWork employees reportedly gathered on Thursday morning to celebrate a major milestone for a company that has had its fair share of disputes and turmoil.

Founder and former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, and company co-founder Miguel McKelvey, invited more than 100 of the company's first employees to a 9 a.m. party to celebrate the company's public listing, according to the Financial Times. The Standard Hotel, where the party is reportedly being held, was unable to confirm the event. Meanwhile, WeWork rang the NYSE opening bell on Thursday without Neumann, who resigned as CEO two years ago.

WeWork was "writing another chapter in what will become one of the most amazing comeback stories ever," Marcelo Claure, chair of WeWork and international chief executive of SoftBank, tweeted Wednesday.

All the employees invited to the party are shareholders at WeWork and can begin trading immediately, the Financial Times reported. Though Neumann about 10% of the shares, he will have to wait nine months to begin selling, a person familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. The party also marks the first time Neumann and McKelvey have seen each other in person in some time, the Financial Times continued, but they have stayed in touch over the past two years.

The flexible-workspace company went public through a merger with BowX Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, with the SPAC combination operating under the WeWork name and trading under the ticker symbol "WE". Its shares were up about 8% on its first day of trading.

The company originally filed for an IPO in August 2019, which revealed unsavory details about WeWork's culture, finances and alleged behavior of its then-CEO. IPO paperwork detailed the company's pattern of money loss, like losing $1.6 billion of its $1.8 billion revenue in 2018, and reports that WeWork was bleeding human resources managers.

Neumann also faced criticism for his erratic management of the the company and hard-partying ways, including alleged drug and alcohol use, detailed in a Wall Street Journal report from 2019.

WeWork's board of directors met in September 2019 to plan the removal of Neumann as CEO, gaining the support of one of the company's biggest investors, multinational conglomerate Softbank's Masayoshi Son. After Neumann officially stepped down as CEO in September 2019, SoftBank took over the company.

The company's blank check deal with BowX, valued at about $9 billion, was fraction of its $47 billion valuation in 2019. The BowX deal will provide the WeCompany $1.3 billion one it goes public.

Insider reached out to WeWork about the party, but it has not yet responded to inquired about the event.

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