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WeWork Exec Says Consulting Deal With Neumann No Longer in Place

by Bioreports

A $185 million consulting deal that SoftBank Group Corp. signed with WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann upon his departure last year is no longer in place, a WeWork executive chairman said.

“I don’t think that consulting agreement is still in force,” Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure said of the agreement, speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, held remotely on Monday. “I think Adam may have violated some of the parts of the consulting agreement, so that’s no longer in effect.”

Mr. Neumann was “incredibly helpful at the beginning” in assisting SoftBank to understand WeWork, he said.

Mr. Claure, who is also a top executive at SoftBank, declined to elaborate on how Mr. Neumann might have violated the agreement, saying it was part of continuing litigation. Mr. Neumann left under a cloud following the office-space operator’s botched attempt at an initial public offering last fall.

As part of the former startup chief’s exit package, SoftBank agreed to buy about $1 billion of stock from Mr. Neumann, refinance a $500 million debt, and pay him $185 million to consult. WeWork employees and others criticized the payments as a sweetheart deal for the co-founder.

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