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WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann didn’t plan for his family’s control of WeWork to end at his death but he expected it be controlled by future generations of Neumanns, too, says Business Insider.
The outlet reports that in a speech Neumann gave to employees in January of this year, footage of which it says it has viewed, Neumann is seen saying that WeWork isn’t “just controlled — we’re generationally controlled.” He reportedly goes on to say that while the five children he shares with wife Rebekah Neumann “don’t have to run the company,” they “do have to stay the moral compass of the company.”
BI - Neumann - Future - Grandchildren - Day
According to BI, Neumann even invoked his future grandchildren, telling those gathered: “It’s important that one day, maybe in 100 years, maybe in 300 years, a great-great-granddaughter of mine will walk into that room and say, ‘Hey, you don’t know me; I actually control the place. The way you’re acting is not how we built it,'” he said.
“If we do this right, over the years different CEOs will come, but we will keep an eye on these basic values and basic moral standards and not allow them to shift,” he’s quoted by BI as saying.
WeWork - Seams - Neumann - Reason - Power
But before WeWork began coming apart at the seams, Neumann had every reason to believe that he could pass power down to his heirs. Though many public shareholders may not realize as much, a growing number of tech founders enjoy the kind of dual-class shares that Neumann had extracted from investors, shares that don’t merely give founders more voting power for a while after their companies go public or even throughout their lifetimes,...
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