Adam Neumann made plenty of headlines last year when the WeWork co-founder banned employees from expensing meat and serving it at company events last July.
In the weeks that followed, some employees were angered by the disconnect between the official policy and Neumann and other executives' own actions. They told Business Insider about their frustrations with the unconventional expensing policy as part of a larger story on what it's like to work at WeWork.
The week following Neumann's announcement about meat, an employee saw him eating a "giant lamb shank" at one of WeWork's New York City locations near Times Square. When she posted about it in a company Slack channel, her message was quickly deleted and she was chastised.
Neumann continued to advocate against eating meat, while eating it in private. Meat was also served at executive off sites for at least half a year, one employee who worked closely with the C-suite said.
Employees struggled with the new policy, particularly sales and real estate teams that frequently take clients out to meals and didn't want to police their food choices.
"A lot of people were like 'that's a hard line for me when the company tells me what I have to tell a prospect," a current employee said.
They described finding ways to get around the expensing policy, including submitting non-itemized receipts and asking wait staff to change orders on receipts.
A WeWork spokesperson declined to comment on this specific incident but said the company is moving in a new direction under the new co-CEOs.
"We are aggressively committed to moving the company forward and building a company and culture that our employees can be proud of," the spokesperson said.
Neumann stepped down last week as WeWork's chief executive and was replaced by two co-CEOs, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham. They're looking to turn WeWork around after a tumultuous six weeks when the company tried and failed to go public, signaling a departure from Neumann's leadership in a statement.
"We will be taking clear actions to balance WeWork's high growth, profitability, and unique member experience while also evaluating the optimal timing for an IPO," the co-CEOs said when the changes were announced.
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