Adam Neumann’s precipitous plummet from the wunderkind CEO of WeWork sitting atop a $47 billion valuation to being ousted from the company and reportedly fleeing the country has become one of the most seminal business stories of this generation.
With so much to unpack and the company’s future still hanging in the balance, there’s been an influx of deep dive features, narrative and nonfiction adaptations, and now, a new six-part series from podcast network Wondery.
WeCrashed, hosted by David Brown of Wondery’s Business Wars, aims to uncover a story of “hubris and excess” that “explains how this tech ‘unicorn’ crashed from a dream into a disaster.”
For a story as well-covered as Neumann’s rise and fall within WeWork, there’s always the challenge of finding a new way in.
“I think Wondery has proven that podcasts bring back people who may think that they know about the story, but they don’t really know it from beginning to end,” says Hernan Lopez, founder and CEO of Wondery. “They don’t know about the characters that make the story interesting.”
For example, Lopez cites Wondery’s podcast Gladiator, created in partnership with The Boston Globe‘s Spotlight team, about football player Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of murder and was later found dead in his jail cell.
“A lot of people thought that they knew the Aaron Hernandez story, but when they came to it, they realized there was just so much more to it,” Lopez says. “So much so that the Netflix [docuseries Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez] includes some of the phone calls that our research uncovered.”
According to Lopez, WeCrashed will also feature an exclusive tape and interview that will provide additional context to Neumann’s fall from grace, as well as research that goes back to Neumann’s childhood. “We’re possibly going to be the first to market with a beginning-to-end story of the rise and fall of WeWork: what went right, what went wrong, and why,” Lopez says. “I think what listeners are going to find is a very compelling story of excess that in hindsight, like many excess stories, is easy to say we could have seen coming.”
Check out the trailer for WeCrashed below.