- New York Stock Exchange tweeted on Sunday about the questions CEOs should answer before going public, and it read like a subtweet of WeWork after it postponed its IPO.
- The iconic stock exchange listed four questions for executives to ask themselves before taking their companies public, touching on their reasons, long-term strategy, financials, and leadership.
- WeWork delayed its IPO after questions about its business model, valuation, and governance tempered investors’ interest in its shares.
- SoftBank, other WeWork investors, and board members are reportedly pushing for CEO Adam Neumann to step down.
- Read all of BI’s WeWork coverage here.
WeWork has become a punchline in financial circles after investors balked at its business model, valuation, and governance, forcing the shared-workspace provider to delay its IPO last week.
On Sunday, the New York Stock Exchange tweeted a list of four questions for executives to ask themselves before taking their companies public, in what read like a subtweet of WeWork, which decided to list on rival exchange Nasdaq.
NYSE advised leaders to determine whether they have a “compelling business case for going public,” and a “clear, strategic roadmap for the long-term.” The world’s largest stock exchange also suggested they evaluate whether their financials are up to scratch, and whether they have the right executives in charge.
The tweet followed a week where WeWork was forced to delay its plans to go public. Investors grew skeptical of the company’s business model of securing properties on long-term leases, renovating them and dividing them up, then renting them out on a short-term, flexible basis. They also expressed doubts about WeWork’s spending and whether it would become profitable, and how its business would hold up during a downturn.
WeWork’s past use of unorthodox metrics such as “community-adjusted EBITDA,” and CEO Adam Neumann’s controversial dealings – such as buying properties then renting them to WeWork, and charging the company nearly $6 million for the rights to the “We” trademark before then paying it back – also raised questions.
Later on Sunday, it was reported that some WeWork investors were pushing to oust CEO Adam Neumann, after the company had been forced to delay its plans to go public.
Business Insider has reached out to NYSE parent, Intercontinental Exchange, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The NYSE tweet may or may not be directed at WeWork. Either way, it highlights the challenges of public markets and the shortcomings of private ones.
WeWork secured a $47 billion valuation in a private fundraising in January, only to wind up targeting a public valuation below $20 billion after public markets proved to be far less impressed than venture capitalists.
Speaking to employees after delaying the IPO, Neumann said WeWork “played the private-market game to perfection” but faltered in the public sphere, according to the Wall Street Journal.