WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann got a pretty sweet deal worth almost $1.7 billion to step away from the company, but at least one shareholder in that company isn't happy about it. And Natalie Sojka is unhappy enough to reportedly file suit against both Neumann and WeWork's new owners at SoftBank.
The suit minces no words in its summation of Neumann's extremely lucrative golden parachute:
"Despite breaching his fiduciary duties by engaging in self-dealing and mismanaging WeWork so badly that its IPO had to be withdrawn, Neumann is being offered a staggering $185 million consulting fee despite the fact that SoftBank seems to concede Neumann ruined the Company.
"It is beyond comprehension why Neumann would be paid $185 million to provide strategic guidance to the Company when his 'guidance' resulted in the virtual destruction of the company…The fee simply represents self-dealing and improper personal payment to Neumann."
One WeWork spokesman told Business Insider that WeWork "believes this lawsuit is meritless," while a statement to BBC went a step further, calling it "madness." But the suit says Neumann's exit deal is "substantially unfair" and could do "significant damage" to minority stockholders like Sojka, who is looking for a court injunction to prevent the deal from going through. She's also reportedly proposing a class-action suit on behalf of her fellow WeWork stockholders.
Sojka reportedly worked at WeWork for about 17 months, first as an executive assistant and then as a team leader. The lawsuit says that she received both stock and stock options during that period, and that at the time of her (voluntary) resignation she used those options to buy even more stock, since if she didn't exercise the options at that point she would have lost them.