WeWork co-founder McKelvey to leave company by June end

(Reuters) – WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey will leave the company at the end of June, a spokesman for the troubled office-sharing start-up said on Friday.

McKelvey’s exit comes as WeWork, majority owned by SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic which affected its core business and weighed heavily on its occupancy rates.

“After 10 years, I’ve made one of the most difficult decisions of my life … at the end of this month, I’ll be leaving WeWork,” said McKelvey, who founded WeWork with Adam Neumann in 2010.

Since taking over as WeWork’s chairman, SoftBank executive Marcelo Claure has overhauled the office-sharing startup’s top management and brought in several executives including CEO Sandeep Mathrani, as part of his broader strategy to turn around WeWork.

Since Claure took over, a number of top executives including co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham have also left the company.

WeWork has gone through a tumultuous period since abandoning its initial public offering in September and was forced to push out co-founder Adam Neumann last year, after SoftBank and other shareholders turned on him over his management style, his numerous conflicts of interest and his handling of the IPO.

SoftBank is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with a special committee on WeWork’s board comprising two board members, Bruce Dunlevie and Lew Frankfort, after the Japanese company backed out of a $3 billion tender offer that was part of its bailout package for the startup.

The WeWork board last week appointed another special committee comprising new board members Alex Dimitrief and Frederick Arnold to decide on the validity of the previous special committee.

To date, SoftBank has invested more than $13.5 billion in WeWork.

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