WeCrashed, But WeBack Now: Why CEO Sandeep Mathrani Is WeWork’s Turnkey PR Gold

October 27, 2021

WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork was true business podcasting at its most dramatic—charting the big idea, big money, big egos, and big screw-ups that mesmerized tech, venture capital and real estate glitterati, not to mention co-working hipsters everywhere. With the podcast-based limited TV series recently wrapping up filming with stars Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto, media interest in WeWork is buzzing again.

But that interest isn’t limited to a dramatized version of controversies surrounding former CEO Adam Neumann. This October, in the ongoing, real-life story of WeWork, BowX stockholders met to approve their SPAC’s merger with WeWork. “WE” will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and behind the reins now—salving the wounds of the badly injured unicorn once heralded for its $47 billion valuation—is a smart, humble real estate veteran, CEO Sandeep Mathrani.

Listen to Mathrani on The University of Miami’s Distinguished Lecture Series videocast or on CNBC. He may yet successfully execute one of real estate’s toughest turnarounds of the new century. He’s done it before. Mathrani is exactly the kind of unpretentious and insightful executive who gives PR teeth with his applied thought leadership, backed by balance-sheet accomplishment. 

Reworking WeWorking—the space-as-a-service model worth saving

WeWork’s a lively place. The excitement of startup and maker culture is palpable in glass-filled interiors, creatively designed office space, and happy hour cheer. Opportunities for collaboration with techies, freelancers and entrepreneurs are real.

Digital and pandemic-accelerated transformation of business has only furthered the argument that WeWork’s brand of scalable commercial space-as-a-service is more viable than ever. Well studied in the history of real estate, Mathrani has pointed out that space-as-a-service isn’t new in commercial real estate, but WeWork’s implementation has been category-shifting.

Mathrani makes the business case for the model. Enterprise clients want to consolidate real estate with the flexibility to scale physical space up or down. They want to build collaboration hubs and spokes in secondary and tertiary cities. Mathrani is delivering, while still embracing the “feel” of WeWork and the importance of its creative culture, all in a certified deep-cleaned environment.

Offering reflective and actionable thought leadership

That resurgent WeWork model is the stuff of good articles. But Mathrani, who considers it “arrogant not to do deep research” and regularly acknowledges wisdom that’s been shared with him, offers much more. Listening to him, it’s easy to compile thought leadership themes, any of which could yield byline placements, broadcast spots and much more. Here are some interpretations:

Even better than Hollywood drama is Mathrani’s clear thinking and resurrection of the unicorn.

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About the author

Racquel Yerbury loves inquiry, technology and poetry—as well as feisty debates about the rise and fall of crypto. As senior content director at Bospar, she brings 20+ years of writing and editing experience to the team, with technical chops in cloud services, data management, DevOps, APIs, AI/ML, cybersecurity, and blockchain. Her work includes research reports, press releases, articles, strategic digital communications, and marketing campaigns. She is also a former educator, licensed private pilot and Fulbright scholar.