Adam Neumann is an Israeli-American billionaire who co-founded WeWork, a business that provides entrepreneurs with shared working spaces. He resigned as CEO of the company in 2019 and gave up majority voting control after a failed attempt to take the company public. According to Bloomberg, Adam Neumann has a net worth of $2.3 billion as of 2023.
Neumann was born on April 25, 1979, in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. He is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and his parents (Avivit and Doron) both worked as physicians. However, they divorced when Adam was seven years old. He and his younger sister Adi lived with their mom.
The three of them moved to the US for their mom’s medical residency in 1986. Adam suffered from dyslexia and could only read and write when he got to the third grade. After four years in America, they returned to their homeland and resided in Nir Am.
He attended the Israeli Naval Academy and served in his country’s Navy for five years, rising to the rank of captain before being released. Later, he went back to the US to study at the Zicklin School of Business in New York City.
Before starting WeWork, Neumann co-founded Krawlers, a children’s clothing firm. He then met Miguel McKelvey in 2008 through a mutual friend and the pair co-founded GreenDesk, an environmentally friendly co-working space in Brooklyn, New York.
GreenDesk became the precursor to their future business plan. They sold the company in 2010 and used the capital to launch WeWork. They offered community areas for rent that are as low as $45 per month.
Neumann stated that his goal with WeWork was to recreate the sense of community and belongingness he had in Israel, which he believed was lacking in the US.
The Rise and Fall of WeWork
WeWork expanded rapidly and was aggressively leasing out buildings in New York. Softbank, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were among the early investors. Softbank alone ploughed $10 billion into the company as Masayoshi Son was a big believer in Neumann’s vision. However, the vision was mostly hot air and WeWork was suffering huge losses.
WeWork lost over $2 billion in 2018 but was still planning to go public the following year. Investors started to question the company’s management policies, business strategy and some of Neumann’s conflicts of interest. Adam appeared to be leasing properties he owned back to WeWork and made millions doing so.
Net Worth and Salary
After WeWork fell, Adam resigned as CEO and 2,000 people lost their jobs. He still holds a 11% stake in WeWork. With this, his fortune reached an impressive $14 billion in 2019 based on a peak valuation of $47 billion. But after the controversies, it sank below the one billion mark in 2020. It has bounced back to $2.3 billion as WeWork went public in 2022 by merging with SPAC company BowX.
That’s because Neumann received a $185 million payout and the right to sell $1 billion in stock after leaving. WeWork is still recovering with their new management team. They are also making an AppleTV+ miniseries titled WeCrashed to tell the story of their downfall, set to release on March 18, 2022.
Adam Neumann and his family reside in Greenwich Village, New York City. He has five kids with two pairs of twins with his wife, Rebekah Victoria Neumann. He married Rebekah in 2008 and the couple are still together.
What is he doing now?
Since leaving WeWork, Neumann has remained out of the media spotlight and hasn’t given many public interviews. Currently, Adam is focusing his time on investing in new companies. Flow Carbon is one of his latest investments, a business that sells carbon credits to companies looking to offset their emissions.