NEW YORK (AP) — WeWork has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a stunning fall for the office-sharing company that once promised to upend the way people went to work around the world.
The filing comes at a time of incredible disruption in the commercial real estate market. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in vacancies and major markets, from New York to San Francisco, are still struggling.
But it was an aggressive expansion in WeWork’s early years, that led to the bulk of its current troubles. The company went public in October 2021 after an attempt two years earlier collapsed spectacularly. The debacle led to the ouster of founder and CEO Adam Neumann, whose erratic behavior and exorbitant spending spooked early investors.
Despite efforts to turn the company around since Neumann’s departure — including significant cuts to operating costs and rising revenue — WeWork has struggled in a commercial real estate market that has been rocked by the rising cost of borrowing money, as well as a shifting dynamic for millions of office workers now checking into work remotely.
“I feel like (WeWork) has been imploding in slow motion,” said Nicole Schmidt, an attorney and managing