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The Woman Who Warned of WeWork’s Downfall Tells Her Story

Joanna Strange was the first insider to speak out about the company’s shaky finances.

Joanna Strange

Joanna Strange

Photographer: Amy Lombard for Bloomberg Businessweek

Adam Neumann is used to dealing with conflict. Last year, when WeWork Cos. botched its initial public offering, he was forced to resign as chief executive officer of the company he founded. He’s also locked in a legal battle with the coworking startup’s biggest backer, Masayoshi Son.

Back in 2016, things were a bit different. Criticism of WeWork was rare. When Joanna Strange, a former employee, found and shared with Bloomberg internal documents that showed WeWork was falling far short of its financial goals, WeWork sued her. She now says the ordeal—which included questioning from the FBI—nearly broke her.