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Former WeWork CEO in talks to get nearly $500 million in SoftBank settlement

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 73.2%. 2 min read.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 at Pier 36 on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Adam Neumann, the disgraced former CEO and cofounder of WeWork, may soon have a massive payday as part of a possible settlement with SoftBank, the company's largest investor, but the amount under discussion is far less than the golden parachute originally offered.

(CNN Business)Adam Neumann, the disgraced former CEO and cofounder of WeWork, may soon have a massive payday as part of a possible settlement with SoftBank, the company's largest investor, but the amount under discussion is far less than the golden parachute originally offered.

Neumann, who stepped down in late 2019 after a disastrous attempt to take WeWork public, could be eligible to sell nearly $500 million worth of his shares to SoftBank as part of a $1. 5 billion stock buyback program for early WeWork employees and investors, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The deal is part of a settlement under discussion to resolve a long-simmering legal dispute between Neumann, WeWork and SoftBank after the Japanese conglomerate walked away from a $3 billion WeWork share purchase agreement.

WeWork, SoftBank, and a representative for Neumann declined to comment.

As part of the deal in fall of 2019, Neumann departed and had the chance to sell back nearly $1 billion of his shares -- an opportunity that infuriated some workers.

Under Neumann's leadership, WeWork raised billions of dollars, scaled its coworking operations to hundreds of cities around the world, and was valued at an eye-popping $47 billion during one investment round.

In April 2020, SoftBank abandoned plans to buy $3 billion in WeWork stock from Neumann and others, citing certain conditions of the deal that hadn't been met, including the existence of pending criminal and civil investigations into the company, global restrictions related to the coronavirus, and the failure to restructure a joint venture in China.

News of a possible deal comes as SoftBank and WeWork attempt to turn the page on the Neumann chapter of the company.

As the Journal reported, WeWork is in talks about a potential deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to fulfill its ambitions of becoming a public company at long last.

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