Wednesday 4 September 2019 2:23 pm

Wework adds woman to board after criticism ahead of IPO

The We Company, which owns office space provider Wework, has said it will add a woman to its board of directors and unwind a $5.9m (£4.8m) payment to its chief executive for use of the trademarked word “we” as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO).

We Company had faced criticism from analysts over the payment to chief executive Adam Neumann’s company and its plans to go public with an all-male seven-member board after they were disclosed in its IPO filing next month.

Read more: Wework lost $700m in first half, pre-IPO filing shows

“Frances Frei will join our board of directors upon the completion of this offering,” the company said in an amended IPO filing.

Frei, a professor of technology and operations management at Harvard Business School, has provided “human resources consulting services” to the We Company since March this year, the company said. She previously served as a senior vice president of Uber.

The filing also said We will add another director to the board within a year of going public, “with a commitment to increasing the board’s gender and ethnic diversity.”

Wework has been a key player in driving the shared office space industry, and was valued at $47bn earlier this year.

Read more: We burn cash: deciphering the Wework IPO filing

There have been concerns over the extent of losses at the office space provider, which reported $700m losses for the first half of 2019 despite its revenue doubling to $1.54bn.

The company’s IPO is being underwritten by nine firms, including JP Morgan Securities and Goldman Sachs.

Main image credit: Getty