President Donald Trump and the WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann have several things in common. Both built huge brands, profited from their positions, voiced wild ideas, employed family members, and created crises. Scroll down to read more about the pair's similarities. Read more of Business Insider's WeWork coverage here. Trump and Neumann are talented marketers
Both Trump and Neumann have built billion-dollar brands using a potent mix of charisma and clever marketing. Trump parlayed his family wealth and reputation as a New York playboy and socialite into a licensing business, a real-estate empire, and reality-TV fame as the host of "The Apprentice." His boisterous campaign rallies, catchy slogans such as "Make America Great Again" and "drain the swamp," and childish nicknames for opponents including "Low Energy Jeb" and "Lyin' Ted," helped him to secure the Republican presidential nomination and the White House. Similarly, Neumann's powerful personality and grand vision of transforming how the world works helped him rally support and raise billions from investors. He turned WeWork into the largest private tenant in New York and London — with a valuation as high as $47 billion — in less than a decade. Neumann reportedly referred to JPMorgan's CEO as his "personal banker," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon visited him to "kiss the ring," and the bosses of the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange traveled to the Hamptons to court WeWork's initial public offering. Both men have been accused of self-dealing
Trump has been accused of putting personal interests ahead of the country, while Neumann has been accused of the same but in relation to his company. Nearly 200 campaigns and political groups have spent more than $8 million at the president's resorts and other businesses since his election in 2016, according to Politico, citing a new report from the consumer-rights group Public Citizen. Foreign dignitaries, lobbyists, lawmakers, executives, and most of Trump's Cabinet have stayed at or dined in the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Other examples include Vice President Mike Pence's stay at a Trump resort in Doonbeg, Ireland — 180 miles from his meetings in Dublin — and the president's recent attempt to host next year's G7 summit at Trump National Doral in Florida, claiming his administration had vetted several locations but settled on his struggling resort as the best option. He backed down under pressure from Republicans and the media. Neumann reportedly cashed out about $700 million by selling and borrowing against WeWork stock, made millions by leasing properties to his company — giving him conflicting interests as both tenant and landlord — and sold the rights to the "We" name to WeWork for close to $6 million (he ultimately returned that payment). Neumann has reportedly agreed a $1.7 billion golden parachute as part of SoftBank's bailout of WeWork too. The exit package includes nearly $1 billion for most of his stock, $500 million in credit to help him pay off personal loans, and $185 million in consulting fees. At the same time, WeWork employees have seen the value of their stock options plunge since the company scrapped its plans to go public, and they are bracing for thousands of layoffs. The pair often voice bizarre ideas
Trump and Neumann share a habit of making wild predictions and outlandish claims. The president wanted to buy Greenland and reportedly suggested that the US military nuke hurricanes to disrupt them before they make landfall. He's also spread numerous conspiracies: He claimed President Barack Obama wasn't born in the US and accused him of wire-tapping his phone, suggested Sen. Ted Cruz's father was involved in President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and blamed mass voter fraud for his loss of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Neumann reportedly floated the idea of a WeWork on water called WeSail, eliminated meat from company events for environmental reasons, and hoped to live forever and become a trillionaire and president of the world. They love nepotism
Trump and Neumann have no problem mixing business with family. Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, serve as advisers to the president, while his sons Donald Jr. and Eric are trustees and executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization. Both of Trump's eldest sons have been accused of leveraging his presidency to strike business deals around the world. Similarly, Neumann's cofounder and wife, Rebekah, was WeWork's chief brand and impact officer and a member of the succession committee tasked with appointing her husband's successor. WeWork also employed Neumann's brother-in-law as its head of wellness and paid one of his immediate family members to host eight company-related events last year. Both men create problems for themselves
Trump and Neumann have sowed chaos and caused mayhem. Trump's businesses have filed for bankruptcy on six occasions, and his administration has sparked numerous scandals and suffered a steady exodus of senior officials. The president now faces the prospect of impeachment over accusations that he withheld military support to Ukraine in an attempt to dig up dirt on the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Neumann's personal interests, relentless pursuit of growth, and splurging of company cash reportedly threw WeWork into disarray. The company plunged from a $47 billion valuation in January to less than $8 billion last month after investors railed against its questionable business model, mushrooming losses, limited governance, and Neumann's controversial behavior. Its decision to scrap its IPO left it short of cash, leading to Neumann stepping down as CEO, an overhaul of the company, and a rescue deal from SoftBank.
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WeWork's chairman said Adam Neumann 'may have violated' the terms of his $185 million consulting contract with his former company, and that it's is no longer in effect
Summary List Placement When WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann stepped down as CEO last September amid a...Summary List Placement When WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann stepped down as CEO last September amid a string of controversies, he landed a massive exit package from WeWork investor SoftBank, which took over the embattled company, that included a $185 million consulting deal. But Neumann may have invalidated that contract after he "may have violated" its terms, WeWork executive chairman Marcelo Claure suggested Monday during...
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