WeWork Appoints Cushman & Wakefield’s John Santora as CEO, Exits Bankruptcy

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WeWork (WE) might be considered out of the proverbial woods after officially exiting Chapter 11 and bidding farewell to yet another CEO.

The coworking firm has sidestepped about $4 billion in debt as well as avoided falling back into the hands of its founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, in the process naming Cushman & Wakefield (CWK)’s John Santora to the role of chief executive.

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Santora will replace David Tolley, who led WeWork through the bankruptcy process, starting the position in October 2023 and the company filing Chapter 11 about a month later. A federal judge approved WeWork’s bankruptcy restructuring plan at the end of May.

“I firmly believe that flexible work is no longer just an option, but rather a strategic imperative for companies wanting to maximize the efficiency of their real estate footprint, as well as their dynamic workforce,” Santora said in a statement. “While there is much work to do, with these supportive, structural trends and a restructured organization in place, I could not be more confident in our future and I am energized and excited by the challenge that lies ahead.

Santora had a long career at Cushman & Wakefield in a variety of executive roles, most recently as president of its New York tri-state operations and at one point its global chief operating officer. 

“John has played an instrumental role in growing our firm to its leading position today,” Andrew McDonald, COO of C&W, said in a statement. “His impact on our culture has been equally significant. John has developed and mentored generations of strong talent, has vigorously supported many community projects, and has built strong relationships with colleagues all over the world.”

WeWork canceled 160 leases tied to 450 locations and saved $12 billion in the process of bankruptcy, and handed equity over to lenders and real estate technology company Yardi Systems.

In recent weeks, the company has also decided to move its Manhattan headquarters from Tower 49 to 18 West 18th Street while keeping the offices it has at Rudin’s Dock 72 on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.