Wednesday 14 October 2020 5:31 pm

The We Company drops name and returns to Wework

Wework parent firm The We Company has dropped its “We” moniker and returned to its better-known name, as the company seeks to scale back its business operations in the wake of the pandemic. 

Wework, which provides shared office spaces in more than 38 countries around the world, said the move reflected its attempts to “strengthen its foundation”, as the company weathers the coronavirus crisis under new leadership.

The “We” brand was rolled out in January last year by Wework co-founder Adam Neumann, as the company sought to expand its portfolio from a shared office space business into a lifestyle brand.

Neumann was slammed when it emerged he had trademarked the brand name and received $5.9m (£4.5m) in royalties from Wework for its use. 

He was forced out from the company in September last year after Wework abandoned plans for a public listing that would have valued the firm at $47bn.

Neumann said scrutiny of his leadership had “become a significant distraction,” and that it was in the best interests of the company for him to step down.

New chief executive Sandeep Mathrani said today’s name change signaled a return to the company’s roots.

“We want to be strategic. We want to be innovative. We want to be impactful. We want to be Wework,” Mathrani wrote in a memo to staff.

“We are officially restoring our company name from The We Company to Wework,” he added.

In a statement, the company said the move followed “significant progress” in paring down its business during the pandemic, including “divesting non-core ventures, rightsizing its global portfolio, and improving its balance sheet”.

We work from home

It comes after Wework in August said it had halved its year-on-year cash burn rate to $482m in the second quarter. The company also said it had obtained a $1.1bn commitment in new financing from Softbank.

The cost-cutting measures followed a tough time for the company during the pandemic, with shuttered office spaces and government orders to “work from home where possible” throwing business into uncertainty.

The group recently rolled out a pay-as-you-go pilot for its flexible office space alongside a new subscription model that gives customers access across all its sites.

The company told City A.M: “These products demonstrate the value proposition at Wework’s core, as well as the company’s commitment to redefining the future of work.”