In its latest attempt to bail out its sinking ship of a company, WeWork is examining roughly 100 of its leases worldwide, which could unravel 10-15 percent of its global presence, CNBC reported Thursday. The company confirmed the news after an earlier report by the Information.
While WeWork hasn’t announced exactly what it plans to do with the 100 leases it’s reviewing, its recent financial floundering points toward the company stemming its losses by pulling out where it can. A WeWork spokesperson explained to Gizmodo that these leases are part of a larger review of the company’s global footprint.
“As part of our plan to deliver profitable growth, we have said we are conducting an in-depth review of operations and assets globally in order to improve performance and best optimize our real estate portfolio. As we work through this process, serving our members remains our highest priority and only a small number of open locations may be subject to any change,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The coworking start-up disguised as a workplace technology ecosystem originally came crashing down in September after scrapping its IPO (and subsequently earning the SEC’s attention), and we’ve only seen the aftermath steadily grow worse in the ensuing months. Last month, 2,400 of WeWork’s approximately 12,500 employees were laid off, according to another CNBC report, cutting one-fifth of its staff in one go. And it took a $4.6 billion bailout from investor SoftBank for the company to even afford that life-preserving measure; sources told the Wall Street Journal that WeWork was forced to postpone earlier layoff plans because it couldn’t afford to pay severance.
It’s ok though, folks. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has a “simple formula” to turn things around for WeWork: increase profits and reduce operating costs. Absolutely fool-proof, and he even has the fancy line graphs to prove it, full of big red and blue arrows and noticeably devoid of any real data or numbers.
Update: 12/12/2019 11:49 p.m. ET: Updated with WeWork spokesperson’s statement.