'Outrageous': Analysis Shows $1.7 Billion Payout for WeWork CEO Equal to Years of Salary for Company's Expected 4,000 Laid Off Workers

Eoin Higgins Editor, Common Dreams

Adam Neumann, the CEO of beleaguered work-sharing start-up WeWork, will walk away from the company with $1.7 billion, enough money to easily pay over four years of salaries for the 4,000 workers expected to be laid off in the company's restructuring.

That's according to Sean Porter, a data scientist at analyst firm Decision Data. For the hypothetical, Porter assumed each worker makes an average of $90,000 due to self-reporting and employee demographics. 

While it's hard to pinpoint a super accurate number of average employee salary, most online sources of payroll data suggest the average WeWork staffer makes somewhere between $85,000 – $106,000 [sources: 1,2]. Even then, both of these numbers are likely inflated by most respondents likely being tech employees, and less likely to be operational staff like janitors and front desk employees, where approximately 1,000 of the layoffs will come from, according to Reuters.

Assuming the salary at $90,000, Porter found that the company would owe the 4,000 employees roughly $360 million a year—which goes into $1.7 billion 4.7 times.

"The number was quite shocking," wrote Porter.

Multinational holding company SoftBank pushed Neumann out of WeWork with the golden parachute, it was reported on Tuesday, a decision that World Socialist Website reporter Harvey Simpkins called "outrageous." More job losses, Simpkins wrote, seem inevitable.

"This is likely only the beginning of a jobs massacre," wrote Simpkins. "The technology-industry publication The Information reports that as many as 5,000 layoffs could be forthcoming."

Neumann's payout for WeWork—a company that has seen wild swings in valuation over the past year and is considered a troubled asset—was described to Business Insider by consulting firm Steel City Re CEO Nir Kossovsky as a hit to SoftBank's reputation. 

"Throwing him overboard with a golden parachute does deliver a mixed message," said Kossovsky.

***

Reposted from Common Dreams

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work