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Some WeWork employees are now worried that they have a 'black mark' on their résumés

Business Insider Singapore logo Business Insider Singapore 30/9/2019 Mary Meisenzahl, Business Insider US
Victor Fung et al. standing in front of a building: We cofounder and former CEO Adam Neumann. © Provided by Business Insider Inc We cofounder and former CEO Adam Neumann. captionWe cofounder and former CEO Adam Neumann.sourceGetty
  • Some employees worry that their time at WeWork could be a “black mark” on their résumés, according to a New York magazine Intelligencer report on Monday.
  • Sebastian Gunningham recently warned employees the next few months would be difficult, according to the report, and “that anyone who wasn’t interested in dealing with the transition ahead should probably consider getting out.”
  • Employees found out about Neumann’s replacement co-CEOs through a memo on the day he left, according to the report.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Some WeWork employees are worried that having the company’s name on their résumés might act as a “black mark against them” after the recently postponed initial public offering and the departure of CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann, New York magazine reported.

Job experience at WeWork, which until just a couple of months ago seemed destined for a blockbuster IPO, was supposed to be a résumé highlight. But now, as reports of the chaotic, alcohol-fueled culture at WeWork proliferate, employees are getting nervous that the experience could actually count against them as they look for new jobs, an executive told Reeves Wiedeman at New York magazine’s Intelligencer.

Neumann presided over a company in which mandatory parties, nepotism, and over-the-top behavior flourished, according to an in-depth Business Insider report published on Sunday. Now the office-sharing company is trying to rehabilitate its image and impose financial discipline to staunch its financial losses.

“Thousands of people who worked tirelessly, because there’s no other way to do it there, are going to end up screwed financially because they took lower income to have more equity that has disintegrated,” one executive told Intelligencer. Several employees reported using their savings to buy stock options, which could leave them financially ruined, according to Intelligencer. Before leaving, Neumann had already cashed out more than $700 million of the company’s stock, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Read more: Sex, Tequila, and a tiger: Employees inside Adam Neumann’s WeWork talk about the nonstop partying to attain a $100 billion dream and the messy reality that tanked it

On September 24, the day Neumann was ousted from WeWork, the new co-CEOs sent a company-wide memo announcing their new roles in the company, Intelligencer reported.

According to the Intelligencer report, WeWork employees were divided about new co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham. Some were ready for a post-Neumann WeWork, but many wondered why the executives hadn’t done more to keep Neumann in check. Minson, a former Time Warner executive, joined WeWork in 2015. Neumann once referred to him as the “adult in the room.” Gunningham was the vice chairman of WeWork before taking on the new role.

Intelligencer reported that the most used reactions to the news on Slack were the WeWork logo and the “neutral-face,” “open-mouth,” and “upside-down-face” emoji. The co-CEOs said on a conference call with the entire company they would act transparently and that this was just the beginning.

Read more: How WeWork spiraled from a $47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just 6 weeks

On a call with senior employees the next day, Gunningham warned anyone not on board with a potentially difficult transition that they “should probably consider getting out,” Intelligencer reported.

The WeWork employee concerns about their work experience echo those of Uber employees at the height of its controversies a couple of years ago. In a 2017 Guardian article, a hiring engineer said he would be compelled to ask “pointed questions” to former Uber employees because of the reports of an inappropriate office culture.

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