WeWork Executives Attended Weekly Spiritual Business Meetings
WeWork's senior executives would gather weekly in former CEO Adam Neumann's office throughout the company's early years to study with a teacher from a spiritual organization that promotes Jewish mysticism, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The teacher came from the Kabbalah Centre, and Mr. Neumann and his wife, Rebekah Neumann were active participants. The organization combines a self-help infused spirituality with Jewish mystical tradition called Kabbalah.
Mr. Neumann attributes his relationship with the Centre to helping grow WeWork in its early days. The Centre's leaders connected Mr. Neumann to its network of wealthy people. At least two students were early sources of funding while several senior employees were Centre students. The lessons influenced WeWork's community-centric philosophy, and teachers were normally present around the office.
Mr. Neumann was introduced to Kabbalah by his wife and stated that "I wanted to translate that into a business." Eventually, Mr. Neumann broke ties with the Centre about 4 years ago after the leaders wouldn't take his advice on how to handle controversies it was facing.
WeWork has faced adversity lately as the company stepped away from plans for an initial public offering and Mr. Neumann was pressured to step down as CEO from investors. WeWork has removed the spiritual aspect from the current business processes, but the effect can still be seen in the roots of the company.