WeWork calls in Kekst CNC for PR support

Several PR firms have started working with WeWork since its IPO collapse.

NEW YORK: Kekst CNC is supporting Maurice Lévy in his new role as WeWork’s interim chief marketing and communications officer.

The firm was brought on when former Publicis Groupe CEO Lévy joined WeWork in November. He took the full scope of the holding company’s resources with him.

A Kekst CNC representative confirmed it is the latest of several PR firms that have started working with the embattled office-sharing startup since its IPO collapsed in September.

After WeWork parent the We Company formed a special committee to consider bailout proposals, it hired Joele Frank, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Before founder Adam Neumann resigned from his position as CEO in September, the controversial billionaire and his wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, hired Edelman for support.

WeWork also reportedly brought on Sard Verbinnen & Co, which represents its largest outside shareholder; SoftBank; and Risa Heller Communications.

Gladstone Place Partners is the We Company’s main corporate agency and led on work around the IPO.

After Neumann’s ouster, SoftBank hired Sprint chairman Marcelo Claure as executive chairman to turnaround WeWork. A month later, the financially troubled company accepted a $9.5 billion bailout package from SoftBank in October. Without that money, it would’ve depleted all its cash by the end of October, CNBC reports.

In November, the We Company said it is laying off 2,400 workers, which is about 19% of its workforce, to stem rising costs. The company reported losses of $1.25 billion in Q3 2019, a 150% increase over its $497 million loss in the same quarter in the prior year.

In addition to dooming its goal of going public, the turmoil of the past few months also caused the We Company to suspend hiring a consumer PR agency, according to a source familiar with the matter.

In recent months, WeWork’s in-house comms team has seen various changes. Jennifer Skyler exited her role as WeWork’s chief comms officer and joined American Express as chief corporate affairs officer in September. Jimmy Asci, who replaced Skyler, left the company in October, the same month CMO Robin Daniels resigned.

One year ago, MSLGroup’s Kekst and CNC combined to become Kekst CNC, a financial and corporate communications firm.

Kekst CNC is also supporting Saudi Aramco in what is anticipated to be the largest IPO ever.

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