In the last seven episodes of “WeCrashed,” one thing is established clearly: Rebekah Neumann might be a spiritually enlightened human being, but she is ignorant about the intricacies of running a business, which she pretends to possess. She talks about philosophy, energy, and consciousness, but all that does not make her qualified enough for the position of Chief Branding Officer. One cannot deny that she is a great partner to have who is always willing to provide unconditional support to Adam Neumann. But she is not a leader. Neither does she have any knowledge about the market per se, nor is she a maverick like her husband. In the market, businesses are not run by spirituality. They are run by strategies. To back up those strategies, one needs knowledge and a clear vision of what one wants to achieve. Had WeWork been a pranic healing center, Rebekah Neumann would have been an excellent brand officer. But she had no expertise that allowed her to meddle in the affairs of a real estate business that was somehow trying to elevate the world’s consciousness.
Adam, on the other hand, was in a precarious situation. He had been walking on thin ice for quite some time. He was prancing from one investor to the other. Finally, he had decided to take his company public, but he seriously botched up the S1 document, where he and Rebekah had put pictures and spiritual phrases. The Wall Street Journal had published an article that stated that if Adam Neumann wasn’t stopped, then his madness would indeed become the reason for the downfall of WeWork.
Adam was losing his allies and was trying to swim against the current. He was not ready to step down as the CEO of the company, and still wanted to have his way. So let’s see how the magician tackles this situation and whether he is able to come out victorious or not.
‘WeCrashed’ Episode 8: Recap – The Swan Song Of Adam Neumann
When the unconventional S1 document was released, the WeWork office was bombarded with calls from everywhere. Investors were losing confidence in the IPO, and Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase suggested that they should postpone it. He knew that if they did not postpone the IPO, then they would have to consider lowering the valuation. Adam was not ready to do that. The 47 billion dollar valuation was reduced to a mere 20 billion dollars.
Amid all this chaos, Rebekah is more worried about the negative thoughts that the press briefings force her to have. So she asks Damian Saito, who handles the PR for WeWork, to stop sending her the briefings. Damian, for a moment, cannot comprehend. She was the Chief Branding Officer, and it didn’t matter whether she felt negative or positive. Nobody liked facing the heat, but they were not privileged enough to not deal with it. In her pomposity, she questions why these people were creating such a hassle over an insignificant piece of paper when all they intended to do was save the world. Maybe she chose to be willfully ignorant, or she lacked the know-how to see the consequences, but Rebekah was clearly failing to deliver and do the needful. She was behaving in a doltish manner, and the employees knew that no valuable feedback or solutions would come from her.
Adam had a huge argument with Bruce from Benchmark Capital. Bruce told him that in a soon-to-be public company, he could not give his wife the power to appoint his successor. There was a reason it was called a public company and not a monarchy, and Adam was clearly not ready for that transformation. Adam was planning a roadshow before the IPO and was also making a video for the people who couldn’t make it in person. The Wall Street article is published, and the board votes in favor of Adam stepping down from his position as the CEO of WeWork.
Bruce Dunlevie always believed in Adam Neumann. Through thick and thin, he had always taken his side. But after the Wall Street Journal article, he knew that it was the end of Adam. Somewhere, he took the loss personally. He felt like he had lost out on a bet. Adam and Rebekah met their lawyers, who told him that he had 20 votes on each share, and therefore, he controlled 65 percent of the vote on any corporate matter. So that meant the board couldn’t fire him. But still, Adam had a lot to prove when it came to his image. He addresses his employees and instantly knows that they are unhappy. They had been working on minimum wages for a very long time, and the IPO was supposed to take them out of their misery, but with Adam’s image in the market, they had no hope that it would be so.
Adam appointed a PR team to deal with the crisis. They suggested that Adam should stay aloof from everything and refrain from feeding the media houses with yet another headline. But Adam was not somebody who could stay in the shell and keep hiding. He was a showman, only this time, the quality went against him. Everything was going out of hand, and Adam was losing his magical powers. He was frustrated and agitated beyond any measure. Rebekah tells Adam to think calmly. She suggests that he should talk to Bruce and do some damage control.
Adam goes to meet Bruce and finds Mathew and Jacob, two of his employees, already sitting and discussing things with Bruce. Jamie Dimon also came, and Adam realized that they were already planning things without him. Adam pleads but to no avail. Moreover, his visit to Benchmark Capital and the hostile conversation were leaked out, and Buzzfeed printed it in its gossip column. Adam was ambushed from all sides. The final nail in the coffin is put by Masayoshi Son, whom Adam calls once again for help. Masa not only asks him to step down but also tells him that he will make sure that the IPO is blocked if Adam is still the CEO.
Adam and Rebekah put out a show most of the time. The mostly pretentious couple sheds its ostentatious behavior and, for once, has the most genuine conversation with each other. Rebekah tells Adam to let it go. She tells him that they could do without money and they didn’t need it. But Adam says that only the one who has never seen poverty can say something like that. Adam didn’t come from a very privileged background. He was an outsider who had made his mark. He had struggled and worked hard for it. Nothing was ever served to him on a platter. He had to fight for everything in life. And now, when he had reached so far, he was not ready to give it all up. So he devises a plan. A plan that would fund his future and his family. It was almost a bet, a dubious strategy, that he wanted to play out in his favor.
‘WeCrashed’ Ending Explained: Who Becomes The New CEO Of WeWork?
Cameron Lautner, from Benchmark Capital, becomes the new CEO of WeWork. He revamps the working culture. In his typical British accent, he tells the employees to focus more on ground realities. He focuses more on logic, but makes the place mundane and devoid of magic.
The board discussed that they needed Masa to invest in WeWork, and that too, a considerable amount of money. But Adam still held the controlling vote and the majority of shares. They knew that Masa wouldn’t invest until he had control of the company. Even Adam knew that, and that’s why he still held those shares. He used the leverage he had as a bait. He wanted Masa to make him an offer to buy out his shares. It was a game of patience and holding onto one’s nerves. Masa couldn’t hold out for any longer and took the bait. He called Adam and offered him an exit package of 500 million dollars. Adam was a gambler by nature, so he turned down the offer. He wanted more. After several days of negotiations, they reached a deal of 975 million dollars. Adam had also bought the rights to the curriculum of WeGrow, the school that Rebekah was running but had to close as the board didn’t approve of it.
It was a victory for the power couple. Though Adam had to step down from his position, he had bagged a golden deal. They left for Israel and started a new journey. It felt like they had left the stress, the anxiety, and the horrors of the past behind. They were painting this imaginary picture of a utopian world in their mind when once again, Masa called. He made it clear that he wouldn’t give the promised exit amount so easily. He was ready to start a legal battle, and he had the resources to fund it too. A panic-stricken Rebekah starts hyperventilating. She realizes that the horrors of the past have still not left their side and that the battle is still not over.
Jared Leto as Adam Neumann and Anne Hathway as Rebekah Paltrow Neumann have put on a great show. They are fun, they are entertaining, and they keep you hooked throughout the eight episodes of “WeCrashed.” The execution of the last episode was perhaps the most dramatic as compared to the earlier ones. It brings a much-needed flavor and flare and ends the series on a high. Though it can be debated that the makers could have refrained from taking a mockish approach which they resorted to at many instances, that diluted the seriousness of the affairs, but then again, it is a subjective point of view.
“WeCrashed” is an immersive saga that gives us a valuable insight into the WeWork culture and, more importantly, about the oddities of the couple and the bond that Adam Neumann shared with his wife, Rebekah. With enticing performances and a crisp screenplay, “WeCrashed” is worth watching.