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Probably more than any other experience, I get asked about my time at WeWork most frequently. I joined before WeWork’s “hyper-growth” that was kicked off by Softbank’s investment. Getting in before that infusion of money was a lucky fluke, giving me some “veteran status” and authority that I got to benefit from, right before the rocket ship/roller coaster fueled by Softbank took off.
Initially hired as Global Head of Social Media, within six months I was able to rapidly scale a global, 15-person department to drive over $10M in revenue - reducing member churn, driving new clients and enhancing real-time customer service operations across 1000+ social accounts. Operationally, I put in place technology vendors, internal processes, workflows and education, all meant to establish a world-class digital content and support system for the ever-growing beast of a company. We were expanding product lines, offerings, launching into new countries, cities and languages. Truly a highlight of my career, firing on all cylinders within a really invigorating environment.
As happens with large, growing companies, there was a big re-org, which saw the infrastructure I had built move from the CMO’s world to the Chief Communications Officer’s world. I stayed within the Growth side of the business and shifted my focus to a new endeavor that the company clearly needed, partnerships.
Leveraging my prior career experience with media and entertainment companies, celebrities and influencers, I founded WeWork’s formal partnership efforts with that whole world. With my new effort under way, for the first time ever, the company had a way to value and execute celebrity partnerships, influencer activations, and co-marketing and barter deals with entities like the NBA, Delta, Amex, Cannes Lions and many more.
I became WeWork’s ambassador to Hollywood, formalizing a system across our sales, real estate, finance, legal, marketing, communications and social media teams. I had YouTubers and podcasters producing their content in WeWork spaces. I organized parties with the NBA. I had amazing people like Kevin Smith, Aimee Song, Al Roker, Jose Andres, Alysia Reiner, Dominique Wilkins, Christina Tosi, David Ortiz, Simon Sinek, Hugh Jackman, Anna Faris and others make WeWork the official office space for their businesses, media companies and charities. I was able to provide March for Our Lives with free office space to organize their events and Michelle Obama with free space for her get-out-the-vote initiative.
Eventually evolving beyond just media & entertainment partnerships, I was given responsibility to kick off WeWork’s formal partnerships with Softbank's other portfolio companies, creating the system by which Softbank-backed companies could connect across the world of WeWork and get special access to office space and related services. This eventually turned into co-founding a full-blown VC-partnership operation, which was my focus until COVID hit.
By the time my WeWork adventure came to an end, I was able to point to over 300 partnerships I created and over $200 million I had brought to the sales pipeline.
With the outbreak of COVID, I was proud to take a leading role in the company’s “WeWork for Good” program, which gave free office space to NGOs, government groups and philanthropies that were on the front-lines at the very beginning of the pandemic. From Rihanna’s foundation to Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, we gave free space and resources to dozens of orgs.