By 2016, Neumann was telling friends that he was intent on
becoming the first trillionaire. Perhaps, he said, somewhere along
the way to eternity, he might become the “president of the
With his ignominious departure from WeWork this week, Neumann’s
Earth-emperor ambitions may have taken a blow. But he can find
solace in suddenly becoming one of the richest people on the
planet. On Tuesday, Softbank offered to pay him a king-size ransom
in exchange for wresting control of the company. The Japanese
conglomerate offered to buy up to $1 billion worth of Neumann’s
WeWork shares in addition to giving him a short-term loan of $500
million to pay off a credit line from several banks. Finally,
Neumann will receive $185 million over the next four years in
exchange for his advice.
At $46 million a year, Neumann’s annual “consulting” fee alone is
higher than the total compensation of all but nine public CEOs in
the United States.