(Bloomberg) – SoftBank Group Corp. is banking on Marcelo Claure to help turn WeWork, after expelling co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann from the corner office earlier this week.
Masayoshi Son, chief executive of SoftBank, WeWork's largest investor, has asked the former CEO of Sprint Corp. about taking a more practical role and helping oversee a cleanup of the office rental company from their position in SoftBank, say people familiar with the case, who asked not to be identified because the case is not public. No decision was made on his exact role, the people said.
Claure wants to help WeWork's new management identify revenue and cost-cutting opportunities, said one of the people.
Representatives of WeWork, SoftBank and Claure declined to comment.
In Claure, Son wanted to tap a leader with a track record to fix companies and oversee the firm's investments.
The 48-year-old joined SoftBank in 2013, when the Japanese company acquired Brightstar, a telephone distribution company Claure operated. Son knocked on him in 2014 to run Sprint, which he helped turn around before the company was awaiting sales to competing T-Mobile US Inc. He remains Sprint's CEO.
Claure is today the CEO of SoftBank Group, CEO of its international operations and a board member. He also oversees the company's $ 5 billion technology fund focusing on Latin America, which was launched this year.
After clashing with Rajeev Misra, head of Vision Fund, the company's $ 100 billion investment vehicle, Claure changed her role in SoftBank, Bloomberg reported in February. Claure, already CEO of SoftBank Group, was assigned to lead a new investment fund in Latin America and help Vision Fund companies expand into the region. He retained his responsibilities overseeing SoftBank Group assets such as Fortress Investment Group Asset Manager, Sprint Corp., ARM Holdings Plc and WeWork.
Neumann resigned as CEO of WeWork this week under pressure from SoftBank and other supporters. Neumann was appointed non-executive chairman while WeWork executives Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson were appointed co-CEOs.
The shaking of management came after WeWork's plan to raise $ 3 billion in its first public offering this month disintegrated over corporate governance and boardroom drama.
We Co., WeWork's parent company, has probably postponed the stock exchange listing until 2020, said people familiar with feeder this week.
(Updates with background in eighth paragraph.)
– With the help of Nabila Ahmed and Gillian Tan.
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