After the contentious exit of Adam Neumann, WeWork’s cofounder and former CEO, last year, the company has finally appointed his replacement, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company has hired Sandeep Mathrani to be its new chief executive officer.
What’s notable about Mathrani’s selection is his background is firmly entrenched in real estate, not tech. That could suggest that WeWork is working hard to shed any pretense of being a tech company—a clear departure from the image the company worked to portray under Neumann’s leadership.
Before taking over as WeWork’s new CEO, Mathrani was previously the chief executive officer of Brookfield Property Partners, a global commercial real estate company. That company, founded in 2013, had assets worth $84 billion in 2017 and made $6.1 billion in revenue that year. As of last Friday, the company had a market cap of $17.5 billion.
Whether or not Mathrani will continue shedding WeWork’s image as a tech company remains to be seen, but as CNBC noted last month, prior to his appointment, WeWork has been selling off some of the tech-focused assets they acquired, like Teem.
The new CEO does have an uphill battle in front of him. In WeWork’s third quarter of last year, which is its most recently reported one, the company made a $1.3 billion loss on $934 million of revenue. That’s a far cry from the optimism and expectations the company once garnered. As the Wall Street Journal notes, WeWork has lost 80% of its valuation since the beginning of 2019.