LISTEN: Employees inside Adam Neumann’s WeWork talk about the nonstop party to attain a $100 billion dream and the messy reality that tanked it

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for iHeartMedia; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • Business Insider’s Julie Bort and Meghan Morris talked to 20 current and former WeWork employees, executives, and business partners about life inside one of the most controversial and fastest-growing startups of all time.
  • They described an atmosphere under the company’s cofounder and now-ousted CEO, Adam Neumann, in which boundaries between work and play did not exist.
  • Current and former employees recounted attending mandatory, alcohol-fueled company retreats where the sounds of coworkers having sex filled the air.
  • They also said they worked long hours in a chaotic atmosphere, fueled by Neumann’s manic push for growth and his inspirational “we are changing the world” speeches.
  • But behind the scenes, executives didn’t seem to practice what they preached in big and little ways, from honoring their own ban on meat to flying around the world on a $60 million private jet.
  • WeWork’s new co-CEOs are already trying to unroll the excesses of the company’s origins. Yet they have inherited a company whose roots were formed under the unique vision of Adam Neumann.
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