WeWork founder’s mother Dr. Aviva Neumann has told 103FM that her son has become a member of the Chabad Orthodox Jewish religious movement.
“This is a happy end because Adam is happy with his wife and five children,” Dr. Aviva Neumann, an oncologist at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, told Ayala Hasson-Nesher in a 103FM Israel radio interview a day after Japanese company Softbank was given the go-ahead to take over WeWork, the company founded by Adam Neumann.
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“He has become a religiously observant Jew for three years… yes, he has become religious” his mother said. “The first time I saw him put on phylacteries (lay tefillin), I almost fell on the floor, and he was terribly insulted. However, I respect his connection to religion. It added to a dimension that he always had,” Dr. Aviva Neumann said.
WeWork’s board of directors gave its approval yesterday to a final takeover of the shared workspaces real estate company by Softbank. Neumann will receive nearly $1.7 billion for leaving his company’s board of directors. “Adam wasn’t even sad about all the problems, and now that it’s over, it is mainly his mother who is extremely glad about it,” Aviva Neumann added.
“In recent years, I asked Adam for all sorts of things (donations) for oncology institutes, so I took maximum advantage of him, my patients took maximum advantage of him, and I’m glad that he will have time now for his family,” Adam’s mother explained.
“As a child, when he was five years old in Yeruham, I used to be on duty at Magen David Adom (Israeli red cross, JBN), and he used to come with me on visits to patients. He always saw people suffering. All of my children grew up in oncology clinics all over the world. I didn’t conceal suffering from them, and my children really enjoy life,” Aviva Neumann said. “He’s a US member of the Chabad religious movement, which is something nice, with songs at Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday and going to synagogue on Sabbaths and holidays.”
It is believed that WeWork’s cash burn rate will cause the company to run out of cash this November. This pushed the company into accepting the offer from Softbank, which invested $8 billion, far less than WeWork planned to raise in the IPO that it called off, and even further from the $47 billion that Softbank invested in WeWork in January 2019.
Adam Neumann was dismissed as CEO of WeWork three weeks ago as a result of pressure from investors, following reports of a questionable organizational culture. Neumann will now have the right to sell a third of his holdings in the company to Softbank for $970 million.
Softbank will also grant Neumann credit to repay a $500 million loan from JP Morgan and other parties. Neumann will not completely sever his ties with WeWork, however; he will reportedly receive $185 million in consultancy fees.