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'Outrageous': Analysis Shows $1.7 Billion Payout for WeWork CEO Equal to Years of Salary for Company's Expected 4,000 Laid Off Workers

"This is likely only the beginning of a jobs massacre."

Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 at Pier 36 on May 15, 2017 in New York City.

Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 at Pier 36 on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images/TechCrunch)

Adam Neumann, the CEO of beleaguered work-sharing start-up WeWork, will walk away from the company with $1.7 billion, enough money to easily pay over four years of salaries for the 4,000 workers expected to be laid off in the company's restructuring.

That's according to Sean Porter, a data scientist at analyst firm Decision Data. For the hypothetical, Porter assumed each worker makes an average of $90,000 due to self-reporting and employee demographics. 

While it's hard to pinpoint a super accurate number of average employee salary, most online sources of payroll data suggest the average WeWork staffer makes somewhere between $85,000 – $106,000 [sources: 1,2]. Even then, both of these numbers are likely inflated by most respondents likely being tech employees, and less likely to be operational staff like janitors and front desk employees, where approximately 1,000 of the layoffs will come from, according to Reuters.

Assuming the salary at $90,000, Porter found that the company would owe the 4,000 employees roughly $360 million a year—which goes into $1.7 billion 4.7 times.

"The number was quite shocking," wrote Porter.

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Multinational holding company SoftBank pushed Neumann out of WeWork with the golden parachute, it was reported on Tuesday, a decision that World Socialist Website reporter Harvey Simpkins called "outrageous." More job losses, Simpkins wrote, seem inevitable.

"This is likely only the beginning of a jobs massacre," wrote Simpkins. "The technology-industry publication The Information reports that as many as 5,000 layoffs could be forthcoming."

Neumann's payout for WeWork—a company that has seen wild swings in valuation over the past year and is considered a troubled asset—was described to Business Insider by consulting firm Steel City Re CEO Nir Kossovsky as a hit to SoftBank's reputation. 

"Throwing him overboard with a golden parachute does deliver a mixed message," said Kossovsky.

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