WeWork Japan has appointed a new CEO, Kazuyuki Sasaki, just days after WeWork boss and cofounder Adam Neumann stepped down amid intense pressure from his board.
Before becoming its new CEO, Sasaki served as WeWork Japan's chief financial officer, having started in January 2018. He has also served as its managing director since April of this year, a role he combined with with the CFO post.
Sasaki's appointment comes a time of intense public scrutiny for the We Company, WeWork's parent firm, after it indefinitely postponed plans to go public last month.
The shared office provider's business model, management practices and company culture have all been subject to criticism and scrutiny. The firm's chief financial officer Artie Minson and vice chairman Sebastian Gunningham were appointed successors to Neumann and will jointly hold the CEO role. Masayoshi Son — CEO of SoftBank, WeWork's largest financial backer — reportedly "lost faith" in Neumann in the days before he stepped down.
Sasaki replaces Chris Hill, who has served as WeWork Japan's CEO since WeWork first entered the country in 2017.
In Japan, there are currently 21 WeWork locations open across 5 cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. WeWork is also designing SoftBank's new headquarters on the Tokyo waterfront.
WeWork was one of the SoftBank's Vision Fund's biggest bets, with the We Company receiving over $10 billion in investment from the fund in the past two years.
The Japanese tech conglomerate is currently raising for a second Vision Fund, but after WeWork's botched IPO, the biggest backers of the first fund – the Saudi Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company – are reportedly reconsidering their involvement in Fund 2.