Tech CEOs are savagely mocking WeWork’s chief exec for saying the ‘least engaged’ employees enjoy working from home

GettyImages 1211910015
A WeWork office in Beijing.

  • WeWork’s Sandeep Mathrani said that only the “least engaged” workers want to stay at home.
  • It’s inspired taunting from Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi and Box’s Aaron Levie.
  • As a commercial real estate firm, WeWork has a vested interest in workers returning to the office.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tech CEOs are piling on online following the WeWork chief exec’s assertion that only the “least engaged” employees want to keep working from home.

During The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything festival on Wednesday, Sandeep Mathrani, who took the helm of WeWork in 2020, discussed the future of the office, saying that he’s seeing employees who want to work at the office a few days every week and work remotely on other days.

But he added that the number of days workers want to stay at home is directly correlated to how engaged they are with their work.

“It’s also pretty obvious that those who are overly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time at least. Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home,” Mathrani said.

Since the interview, Mathrani’s fellow CEOs haven’t hesitated to point out that, as the the CEO of a commercial real estate company, he has a vested interest in employees returning to the office.

Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud content management firm Box, pointed out the absurdity of viewing your most engaged employees as the ones who use your product the most.

Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, chimed in with his own version.

Read more: WeWork released an investor deck outlining ambitious occupancy projections ahead of a proposed SPAC deal. Here are 4 big takeaways.

As a coworking startup, WeWork relies on people returning to the office to boost its business. Though the company’s current occupancy rate is below 50%, WeWork recently told investors it expects occupancy to soar to 75% by the fourth quarter of this year.

Marcelo Claure – WeWork’s executive chairman and the CEO of WeWork’s largest financial backer, SoftBank Group International – told Insider in a statement earlier this year that “WeWork is incredibly well positioned to springboard into a future” thanks to its technology and “a new appreciation of the value of flexible workspace.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Box stock surges 10% after report says the company is exploring a sale amid pressure from activist investor Starboard

Box CEO
Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box.

  • Box stock surged as much as 10% on Monday before paring gains.
  • A report from Reuters Monday said the cloud storage company may be open to a sale amid pressure from activist investor Starboard Value LP.
  • Starboard has been edging Box to sell after pushing for a board challenge less than a month ago.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Box surged as much as 10% on Monday after reports from Reuters and CNBC said the company is exploring a sale amid pressure from hedge fund and activist investor Starboard Value LP.

The news comes after Reuters reported last month that Starboard was preparing to launch a board challenge against Box unless major changes were made at the cloud storage company.

Reports say Starboard has been upset with Box’s inability to capitalize on the work-from-home trend during the pandemic. Starboard currently owns 10.9 million shares of Box, worth some $246 million as of March 19’s closing price.

Despite the pressure from Starboard, Box stock is up roughly 100% over the past year. However, even after Monday’s move higher, the Redwood City, California-based firm is down 13% from its May, 2018 record highs.

In Box’s fiscal year 2021 earnings report filed last Friday the company revealed revenues of $770 million versus $696 million a year ago.

Although the company was able to limit losses to just $43 million versus $144 million in fiscal year 2020, Box’s slowing revenue growth during the pandemic has been a cause for concern for investors.

In January, DA Davidson analyst Rishi Jaluria downgraded Box to “neutral” and issued an $18 price target on the company citing low scores in a CIO survey for 2021 spending intentions.

Box traded down 6.63% as of 1:14 p.m. ET on Monday.

Box chart
Read the original article on Business Insider