Two years after WeWork’s attempt to become a public company flamed out spectacularly, the co-working giant will start trading on the stock market on Thursday, hoping that investors will now believe in its prospects.
The earlier effort collided with concerns about WeWork’s breakneck growth, its huge losses and the alarming management style of its co-founder Adam Neumann. WeWork has new leaders who have pared back its expenses and hope to exploit an office space market that has been upended by the pandemic. But the company still has lofty growth targets, big losses and many empty desks in its 762 locations around the world.
“We are the right company, at the right time,” Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork’s chief executive, told investors this month. “I joined this company with an upside-down cost structure. Over the past 20 months, we have focused on streamlining our operating expenses and right-sizing our real estate portfolio.”