- A former employee takes WeWork to court over founder of Adam Neumann's reported $ 1.7 billion golden parachute.
- Natalie Sojka sues Neumann and other WeWork directors for the benefit of minority shareholders whose actions have "pinpointed" the value of WeWork shares and stock options.
- "It is beyond understanding why Neumann would be paid $ 1
- Read more about coverage of Business Insiders WeWork here.
A former employee takes WeWork to court over co-founder Adam Neumann reported a $ 1.7 billion golden parachute.
Natalie Sojka's lawsuit accuses Neumann and other WeWork executives of taking advantage of minority shareholders' e xpense, violating their trust duty, creating corporate waste, unjustly enriching, abusing control, among other errors. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court this week, also names SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son as a defendant.
As part of SoftBank's takeover of the coworking startup after its expired stock exchange listing, Neumann is eligible to receive nearly $ 1 billion for its WeWork shares, $ 500 million in credit to pay off personal loans, and $ 185 million in consulting fee, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Despite breaking his trusting duties by engaging in self-treatment and mismanagement of WeWork so badly that IPO had to be withdrawn, Neumann is offered a staggering $ 185 million consulting fee despite SoftBank appearing to admit that Neumann destroyed the company, "the lawsuit claims.
"It is incomprehensible why Neumann would be paid $ 185 million to provide strategic guidance to the company when his" guidance "resulted in the virtual destruction of the company," the lawsuit claims. "The fee simply represents self-dealing and incorrect personal payment to Neumann," it claims.
WeWork, SoftBank, and the law firm representing Natalie Sojka did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
"WeWork believes this lawsuit is worthless," a spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.
Sojka worked as executive assistant and then team leader at WeWork for a period of 17 months, according to her LinkedIn profile. She received stock and stock options during that time, and when she voluntarily resigned, she exercised the options to buy more shares after being told she would lose them otherwise, according to the lawsuit.
Neumann's reported leave package is "substantially unfair" and would result in "substantial harm" to minority shareholders as the value of the shares and stock options has been "designated because of Neumann's wrongdoing," the lawsuit claims.
Soyka is seeking a injunction to prevent Neumann's exit trade from going through, and suggested a lawsuit on behalf of her and other minority shareholders.