- WeWork announced the appointment of its third CFO since March 2020, with former NCR Corporation CFO Andre Fernandez set to fill the role on June 10.
- He will succeed current CFO Benjamin Dunham, who was appointed from within in October 2020. Dunham himself replaced Kimberly Ross, a corporate finance veteran, who was appointed in March 2020 and departed after six months.
- Fernandez will receive an annual base salary of $900,000, according to a company filing, with an annual target cash bonus of 50%. He will also receive an award of restricted stock units with a $3 million nominal value upon his employment.
The co-working space operator has been working to shift its focus to diversified growth. The company has taken several steps to differentiate its offerings in 2022, having acquired regional co-working company Common Desk in January and announcing a partnership with real estate software firm Yardi to develop a workplace management software product set to debut in July.
Fernandez brings three decades of experience to the co-working company, according to his LinkedIn account. He was previously CFO of NCR Corporation, served as the President and CEO of CBS Radio and earlier in his career held various roles at GE including CFO & Controller of GE Latin America over the course of about 11 years.
Dunham, who previously acted as the head of finance for Yum! Brands pizza chain Pizza Hut prior to joining WeWork, began his tenure as the co-working company’s regional CFO for U.S. and Canada in January 2018 and has served in his current role for roughly 18 months. He will officially step down June 9 and will receive the severance set forth in his October 2020 employment agreement. His departure is not the result of financial or accounting matters, the company stated.
Fernandez’s appointment and previous experience at publicly traded organizations could help to position the company to achieve its objectives for diversified growth as the company works to recover from the pandemic. WeWork reported $765 million in revenue in the first quarter, a 28% increase over the year earlier. WeWork’s stock has dipped 18% since the start of the year, however.
WeWork’s rocky road to its public debut has been well-documented, with the company finally going public during Dunham’s reign in October 2021 through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which took place two years after a failed 2019 initial public offering (IPO) attempt.
The company has more recently had to contend with changing work norms as well as investor wariness, as the way both employees and employers think about physical office space and real estate has continued to morph nearly three years after the pandemic’s first onset. Large-scale technology players such as Google have announced billion-dollar investments this year for new office spaces in bids to bring back workers. Rising inflation is causing CFOs in other industries to consider the cost benefits associated with remote teams, which allow companies to cut down on costly office space and to reallocate those funds to other, perhaps more lucrative areas.