When WeWork Went Public

December 02, 2019
 

Verity Winship

University of Illinois College of Law

The We Company described itself as having a mission: to “elevate the world’s consciousness.” WeWork would do this by providing “flexible access to beautiful spaces” – shared workspace. The company grew in private, and got big without having to share information publicly or set up structures to make sure it was well run. But information came out when the company tried to raise money by selling shares broadly to people and institutions in an IPO. “Going public” meant making public disclosures. This commentary considers what WeWork’s wipeout says about big private companies with big problems – think WeWork or Theranos - and how much and when we want to know what is going on inside.When WeWork Went Public