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WeWork's Size Gives Startup Public Responsibilities, Sam Zell Says

  • Criticizes WeWork CEO’s office-leasing deals in TV interview
  • Deals wouldn’t have occurred if WeWork were public, Zell says
Sam Zell
Sam ZellPhotographer: Scott Eells

WeWork Cos. Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann wouldn’t have been able to lease properties he owns to the office-sharing startup if it were a public company, real estate investor Sam Zell said.

Zell’s comment, in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday, was sparked by a Wall Street Journal report this week that said Neumann had purchased real estate and then leased it to WeWork, reaping millions of dollars. Several investors were concerned about the potential for conflicts of interest, the newspaper reported.