WeWork names David Tolley permanent CEO

Removes interim tag from exec tapped to avoid bankruptcy 

Struggling WeWork Names David Tolley Permanent CEO
A photo illustration of WeWork CEO David Tolley (Getty, WeWork)

WeWork has pulled the interim tag off its CEO.

The company announced Monday morning that David Tolley, who became a board member in February and interim CEO in May, has been named CEO. WeWork has been vetting other candidates for the job.

Tolley has his work cut out for him. On its August earnings call, WeWork said it has “substantial doubt” that the company can continue operating. A month later it informed its landlords on a conference call that it intends to renegotiate nearly all of its leases.

WeWork gave itself an aggressive — and perhaps unrealistic — 45-day window for renegotiating its leases, which would make the deadline Oct. 21. To lead that effort, the company tapped Hilco Global, which is known for playing hardball.

However, WeWork is facing a deadline of sorts because it is burning through cash and does not have enough to operate much longer without significant cost-cutting. Frank Cottle, founder of Alliance Virtual Offices, told The Real Deal that the company may not make it to Thanksgiving at its current burn rate.

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WeWork recently skipped $95 million in debt payments and its credit rating was downgraded, crippling its ability to borrow money.

The company’s stock has plummeted over the past year. It went public in October 2021 with an IPO price of $13. The share price fell 99 percent to a low of 13 cents in August. Facing delisting by the New York Stock Exchange, the company then executed a 1-for-40 reverse stock split.

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The stock was trading at $2.42 late Monday morning, up 3.6 percent on the day but down by more than half since hitting the pre-split 13-cent mark.

Tolley has a background in investment banking and finance, but not in the co-working space. He previously served as CFO of satellite operator Intelsat. During his tenure, Intelsat went into bankruptcy in May 2020 to restructure. It emerged from bankruptcy as a private company in February 2022.