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Adam Neumann hosts booze-soaked party as WeWork stock soars in debut

Ousted WeWork founder Adam Neumann hosted a booze-soaked party for more than 100 of his earliest employees as shares of the company finally began trading on the New York Stock Exchange and soared as much as 10 percent.

“I’m feeling amazing” Neumann told The Post as he gathered a crowd of hangers-on at the beer garden of the posh Standard Hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District.

Guests at the event pounded champagne as early as 9 a.m. — though Neumann stuck to water and iced coffee — as they awaited the opening bell and first trade of WeWork stock. Mimosas and Bloody Marys were later served.

Staff handed out WeWork-branded shirts to attendees, even though a source close to the current iteration of WeWork confirmed the party was not funded by or affiliated with the company.

WeWork shares on Thursday, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “WE,” were recently up more than 10 percent at $11.47, giving the company a market capitalization of more than $9 billion.

That’s sorely short of the $47 billion valuation WeWork was eyeing before it imploded in 2019 — but Thursday’s stock pop still netted Neuman about $250 million in profits, according to securities filings.

Adam Neumann is banned from selling his shares until July of next year, the Financial Times reported

Adam Neumann gives a speech at a WeWork party at the Standard Hotel Oct. 21, 2021.
Adam Neumann speaking to revelers at a party celebrating WeWork at the Standard Hotel Oct. 21, 2021.
Theo Wayt

Both Neumann, dressed in a black T-shirt that read “Student For Life,” and cofounder Miguel McKelvey addressed the crowd.

“It’s such a special day,” Neumann told guests, adding that he stopped by Wall Street, where “there was a really big sign,” he added, perhaps referencing the huge WeWork flag flying Thursday on the face of the New York Stock Exchange.

“A brand without a past does not have a future,” he said, hugging McKelvey multiple times throughout the speech. The duo hadn’t been spotted together since Neumann was forced to resign as WeWork’s CEO in 2019.

As the crowd huddled for a photo, blocking traffic on Washington Street, they clapped and cheered, with some occasionally crying out, “WeWork!”

Adam Neumann and another man at a WeWork party at the Standard Hotel.
Adam Neumann at a WeWork party at the Standard Hotel.
Theo Wayt

One attendee at the event told The Post that some felt like it was a “high school reunion” while others felt it was more like “going to your ex-girlfriend’s wedding.”

Neumann’s wife Rebekah — who was also a co-founder of the company and created a WeWork-affiliated school called WeGrow that cost up to $42,000 per year and shut down in 2019 — appeared to be absent from the event. 

A source said Neumann and McKelvey had reached out to ex-staffers via email and LinkedIn to invite them to the party.

“The irony is not lost on the fact that they are inviting former employees who got no money from the company they nearly destroyed, and in some cases, some who were laid off after the last IPO attempt. And it is day drinking just like the olden days at WeWork,” one WeWork insider told The Post.

Another source said the guest list “was a select group of people who helped build the company. The plan was to get everybody together to watch all their hard work come to fruition.” 

WeWork finally made its debut on the public markets Thursday through a merger with BowX Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, about two years after it first tried to go public at a much higher valuation.

In August 2019, the company filed the prospectus for its flopped bid for a traditional IPO, which for the first time disclosed WeWork’s financials showing mounting losses. Its valuation quickly collapsed, scuttling its plans to go public.

Revelers gather at the Standard Hotel to celebrate WeWork's IPO.
Revelers gather at the Standard Hotel to celebrate WeWork’s IPO.
Theo Wayt

The company — and Neumann as well as his financial backers — were widely ridiculed for packing its prospectus with lofty buzzwords that were tangentially related to its business and allowing Neumann to enrich himself through legally questionable business operations.

By September, Neumann — under pressure from key investor Softbank — resigned as CEO and got a massive exit package worth almost $2 billion.

But now, in a world fundamentally altered by the pandemic, WeWork — under new management — has found a new lease on life.

Under Sandeep Mathrani, a real estate veteran who was named CEO in early 2020, the company has delivered on promises to cut costs and focus on its core real estate portfolio, including by axing Rebekah Neumann’s WeGrow school. 

A spokesperson for WeWork declined to comment on the party. 


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