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Protesters blocked roads across Lebanon on Sunday in demonstrations against deteriorating conditions in a country grappling with an economic and financial crisis.
Senegal President Macky Sall has pardoned one of his chief political rivals, the charismatic former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, who was jailed in 2018 on corruption charges.
Gen. Abdulaziz al-Faghem, who oversaw protection for two Saudi kings, was shot and killed in what the Saudi news media called a personal dispute.

Adam Neumann

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.

See more: The WeWork S-1t Show: How the co-working giant went from a 47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just 6 weeks

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. 

Read more: WeWork cofounders Adam and Rebekah Neumann are close friends with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and invited them to Rebekah`s extravagant 40th birthday bash in Italy

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. 

For more on what it`s like to work at WeWork, read the larger story here.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-1627 using a non-work phone, email at [email protected], or Twitter DM at @MeghanEMorris. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Britain will introduce laws after it leaves the European Union to freeze assets of those deemed responsible for human rights abuses, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday.
Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland`s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said on Sunday she supported British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but could not accept leaving the EU on different terms to the rest of the country.
Britain`s government knows the outline of what it sees as a possible deal to leave the European Union, Michael Gove, the minister in charge of planning for a no-deal Brexit, said on Sunday.
Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz triumphed in Sunday`s parliamentary election while the scandal-tainted far right took a beating and the Greens surged, leaving Kurz the option of forming a coalition with either of them.

Adam Neumann

  • With the IPO paused for now, WeWork and Adam Neumann gave their first public statements about the company`s culture and leadership changes to Business Insider. 
  • The statements were issued in response to Business Insider`s investigation into Adam Neumann`s leadership of the company, in which employees recounted their experiences ranging from mandatory parties to allegations of discrimination.
  • "WeWork is one of the fastest growing companies ever and while there may have been some growing pains, the results speak for themselves: a nurturing work environment that is inspiring, respectful, and attuned to bringing out the best in people," Neumann said through a spokesperson.
  • Read the full story: Sex, tequila, and a tiger: Employees inside Adam Neumann`s WeWork talk about the non-stop party to attain a 100 billion dream and the messy reality that tanked it

Six weeks ago, co-working giant WeWork was the nation`s most valuable tech start-up, marching towards one of the mostly highly-anticipated IPOs of the year. But the IPO flew off the rails amid widespread investor skepticism over everything from the company`s business model to the lack of restraint over Adam Neumann`s corporate control.

Neumann was forced to step down as CEO in an attempt to rehab WeWork`s hard-partying, cash-burning image, although he remains on the board as non-executive chairman. Some observers are unsure if it will be enough to save the company from eventual bankruptcy.

The two new co-CEOs, Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, have already swung into action trimming expensive perks, unrolling superfluous acquisitions  and dismissing or collecting resignations from a growing cohort of Neumann`s closest allies at the company.

During the weeks of turmoil, the company stayed silent, unable to publicly comment due its quiet period, the SEC-mandated embargo on all promotional publicity in the weeks proceeding an IPO.

But now, the IPO has seemingly been sidelined for an undetermined period of time. (WeWork did not immediately respond to a request for comment on IPO timeline.)

In response to Business Insider`s investigation into the corporate culture under Neumann, both the company and Neumann have issued their first public statements about the leadership changes.

Business Insider`s investigation uncovered a long list of issues including mandatory alcohol-fueled company retreats, apparent nepotism, and discrimination employees say they witnessed or endured.

The WeWork team that remains is trying to distance itself from the recently-finished Neumann era and provided the following statement, its first since the quiet period began and Neumann stepped aside:

"WeWork Co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham are driving sweeping changes. We have zero tolerance for the behavior detailed here or discrimination of any kind. While our thousands of current employees are not represented by the anecdotes in this story, even one incident is too many. We are aggressively committed to moving the company forward and building a company and culture that our employees can be proud of."

Neumann also gave a statement through a representative. While he admitted there may have been growing pains, he says he is ready to support the two men who have replaced him. 

"WeWork is one of the fastest growing companies ever and while there may have been some growing pains, the results speak for themselves: a nurturing work environment that is inspiring, respectful, and attuned to bringing out the best in people.

"Adam fully supports the co-CEOs` continued commitment to building a culture that all employees can be proud of."

Now read:

Sex, tequila, and a tiger: Employees inside Adam Neumann`s WeWork talk about the non-stop party to attain a 100 billion dream and the messy reality that tanked it

WeWork`s new CEOs could still have a rough time dealing with Adam Neumann, experts say

Are you a WeWork insider with insight to share? Contact Julie Bort on Signal at (970) 430-6112 using a non-work phone, or email [email protected] Open DMs on Twitter at @Julie188. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

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wework company culture 2x1

  • Business Insider talked to 20 recent and former WeWork employees, executives, and business partners about life inside one the most controversial and fastest-growing startups of all time.
  • Under cofounder and now-ousted CEO Adam Neumann, they described an atmosphere where the boundary between work and play did not exist.
  • Current and former employees say they attended mandatory, alcohol-fueled company retreats where the sounds of coworkers having sex filled the air. 
  • They also say they worked long hours in a chaotic atmosphere, fueled by Neumann`s manic push for growth and his inspirational "we are changing the world" speeches.
  • But behind the scenes, executives didn`t seem to practice what they preached in big and little ways, from honoring their own ban on meat to flying around the world on a 60 million private jet. 
  • WeWork`s two new CEOs are already trying to unroll the excesses of the company`s origins. Yet they have inherited a company whose roots were formed under the unique vision of Adam Neumann.

Adam Neumann needed more things to burn. 

The WeWork co-founder had gathered his growing company, fewer than 100 employees, for a retreat in upstate New York several years ago. The group had gotten a respectable bonfire going and was having a blast. Like many WeWork events, there was alcohol.

When they ran out of wood, Neumann looked around for more and, not finding any, he took the picnic furniture and threw it into the fire. The party kept going.

For Neumann and anyone who worked for him, WeWork was all consuming, a place where the boundary between work and play not only didn`t exist, but was fused together.

From meetings laden with tequila shots to mandatory company retreats filled with sounds of people having sex, working at WeWork meant signing up for a lifestyle that embraced, to an extreme degree, the no-holds-barred "hustle" culture the company promoted to clients.

The non-stop party, combined with the promise of a big payday, was intoxicating — at least at first. In less than ten years, WeWork exploded to become a commercial real estate powerhouse, with more than 10,000 employees spread across 29 countries, and steaming ahead on a seemingly unstoppable trajectory to a 100 billion valuation. As the company`s coffers filled with billions in funding and press coverage snowballed, Neumann`s behavior and ambitions became increasingly unconstrained.

"A lot of WeWork feels like a never-ending party. It`s always up or down, and Adam`s screaming both ways, happy or not," one former employee said.

But then the party did end. Its much anticipated 2019 IPO flew off the rails amid widespread investor skepticism that slashed 75% of WeWork`s valuation. In mid September, the very week that bankers were meant to begin a roadshow to pitch the IPO, Neumann was instead ousted from the CEO job and replaced by a pair of WeWork executives.

To understand how WeWork became what it is, and its prospects for re-inventing itself, Business Insider spoke to 20 people who currently or once worked at or with the company, including former executives, former early employees and business partners. Business Insider is reporting these accounts anonymously because employees and partners have signed nondisclosure agreements. 

See more: WeWork`s Adam Neumann is out as CEO. Here`s everything we know about the drama that`s been unfolding at the co-working giant.

Some were there from nearly the start and saw WeWork grow in a way few startups — and almost no real estate companies — ever have. Others came in when the company had already ballooned and was struggling to manage its growth. Employees were mesmerized by Neumann`s charisma and his we`re-changing-the-world inspirational speeches. Just as often, they grew unhappy with the long hours, disorganization, hypocritical leadership, nepotism, and discrimination they say they endured.

Today, no longer CEO, with his voting power greatly reduced, Neumann says he stands ready to support the new CEOs.

"WeWork is one of the fastest growing companies ever and while there may have been some growing pains, the results speak for themselves: a nurturing work environment that is inspiring, respectful, and attuned to bringing out the best in people," a spokeswoman for the Neumanns said in a statement. "Adam fully supports the co-CEOs` continued commitment to building a culture that all employees can be proud of."

The two new leaders, Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, have already begun hacking away at the excesses of the Neumann regime, from trimming expensive perks to unrolling superfluous acquisitions.

Artie Minson (left) and Sebastian Gunningham, WeWork CEOs

They hope to staunch WeWork`s financial losses and salvage a public offering for some point in the future.

A WeWork representative gave Business Insider the company`s first public comment on the leadership change since the new co-CEOs were announced on Tuesday:

"WeWork Co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham are driving sweeping changes. We have zero tolerance for the behavior detailed here or discrimination of any kind. While our thousands of current employees are not represented by the anecdotes in this story, even one incident is too many. We are aggressively committed to moving the company forward and building a company and culture that our employees can be proud of."

Rule No. 1: Grab cases of Don Julio 1942. Lots of them. 

For employees who worked at one of the hundreds of WeWork locations around the world, there were two cardinal rules to observe when Neumann came to visit.

The first, an employee recalled, was to be absolutely sure to have shot glasses and cases of Don Julio 1942 — Neumann`s 140-a-bottle tequila of choice — on hand. "If you don`t have that, he will lose his shit."

And then there was the music. It needed to be blasting at party volumes.

"I`m talking blaring to the point where staff can`t focus, we can`t get anything done," the employee said. "Our paying customers would be complaining about how loud the music was, but if we turned it down, we`d get screamed and yelled at by Adam and his team."

don julio 1942 tequila

For the young college grads who made up the majority of WeWork`s ranks, it didn`t take long to realize that this was not an ordinary job. 

Like many startups coping with the "growing pains" of rapid expansion, WeWork required long hours and a tolerance for disorder and sudden changes.

But at WeWork the frenetic energy came straight from the top. 

Neumann, now 40, was seen as the fiery, inspirational visionary. Multiple employees who worked closely with him, some from the early days, said his ability to motivate employees and "pitch the living hell out of the company," was remarkable.

"You can tell either he believes it in his core, or he`s the absolute most talented con man on earth, which could very well be the case," one former employee said. A former executive said Neumann "truly believes wholeheartedly" in his vision. 

Neumann founded WeWork in 2010, along with his wife Rebekah, and Miguel McKelvey, an interior architect who was raised in a five-mother collective in Oregon. The trio saw the business potential of carving up office space into small areas that could be subleased to individuals and boot-strapped startups in need of some place nicer to work than a Starbucks.

The founders took that concept and infused it with a new-agey yet entrepreneurial sensibility, creating a distinct brand that prized capitalism, a hip style, a sense of community, and a credo of "elevating the world`s consciousness."  

WeWork wasn`t just renting out desks in corporate office buildings — it was changing the world.

miguel mckelvey adam neumann cofounders wework

Neumann himself was the perfect embodiment of the WeWork ethos, mixing a workaholic drive with a sense of purpose and a larger-than-life persona. 

As an Israeli who grew up on a Kibbutz — the collective agricultural and manufacturing communities that once dotted Israel  — Neumann struck many new WeWork employees as the real deal.

He talked endlessly about god and spirituality, but he also surfed, drank tequila, and walked around barefoot.

By all indications, he was leading his followers to the promised land. One employee who left last year recalled Neumann`s often-stated goal was a 100 billion IPO in 2020. It wasn`t clear to that employee if the goal was grounded in reality or if Neumann just picked a nice round number. And it didn`t matter.

A private office sauna and "chaser" cars were used to hustle harder

To maximize his time, Neumann often held meetings, including job interviews, on his private plane or in chauffeured cars. He`d even order an empty "chaser" car to follow so that when the meeting was finished, the person would be driven back, or they`d book a commercial flight back. 

Creating a 100 billion empire would take more than a little bit of hustle. Everyone on the journey needed to be prepared to live and breath WeWork.

At WeWork`s Chelsea headquarters, Neumann`s office includes a large private bathroom with a shower, sauna, and massage table.

On Mondays, he ran a small-group meeting that included plenty of alcohol and could stretch late. He invited six to eight executives, so top leadership jockeyed for an invite to the meeting.  "There was a lot of falsifying of self importance to be in those meetings," said one former employee.

WeWork soho sheraton house reception

Assistants were required to sit outside the meetings, which could run until 3 a.m., in case the execs needed something printed. During the meetings and at public appearances, assistants would cluster in hotel rooms and behind the stage. The Neumanns didn`t want to give the appearance of having a large support staff.

Sometimes, executives flew overseas and left their assistants at home, saying it was an unnecessary use of resources, but then landed and demanded the assistants come over. The staff would fly out, stay for six hours, and fly back, one employee said.

Rebekah Neumann could be especially demanding on her personal staff, recalls one former employee who worked closely with the C-suite, nothing that she cycled through six executive assistants in two years.

A one time actress who is cousins with Gwyneth Paltrow and graduated Cornell University majoring in Business and Buddhism, Rebekah Neuman was responsible for a lot of the creative elements of We`s early slogans like the neon "hustle harder" signs.  Some employees described an almost absolutist aesthetic, particularly when it came to a preference for all-white personal technology. Her staff once bought white spray paint to dissemble her desktop phone, paint it, and reassemble it, two employees said.

Time is measured in `WeWork years`

The millennial employees who had bought into Neumann`s vision were working hard – harder than many said they had worked in their lives. As WeWork rushed to open new locations, it simultaneously launched a never-ending stream of initiatives, from co-living WeLive to the WeLab mentorship program to the WeGrow school. WeWork also acquired 21 companies. Internally, employees were working on projects ranging from building We`s own smart building software to opening an aluminum and glass wall factory.

Time was even measured differently: employees joke about working in "WeWork Years."

"If you`ve been at WeWork for more than a year, it`s like 10 years at any other company," said an ex-employee. "The turnover rate was truly, truly, truly insane."

Read more: WeWork cofounders Adam and Rebekah Neumann are close friends with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and invited them to Rebekah`s extravagant 40th birthday bash in Italy

Every day, employees were tasked with new projects; every few months, a new manager, three former employees described. People known to complain about the workload would vanish from the payroll, several people said.

The recruiting team was hiring as fast as they could: the company`s headcount jumped from about 2,200 people in early 2017 to over 10,000 by 2019. That still wasn`t enough.

"There aren`t enough people in that industry to take on the growth that WeWork was experiencing. It was more of a people shortage than anything else. The whole company was overworked," said a former executive.

He described many of those who left, whether by choice or firing, as people "who didn`t truly believe" in the company.  

Mystery meeting guests and orders to hire Neumann`s family 

Sometimes employees had no idea who the people invited to staff meetings were at all. A former mid-level executive recalled multiple meetings with Neumann and people he didn`t know, and was never introduced to. Sometimes, those people gave opinions about the deals being discussed.

"We would walk out and I would ask [my boss], `is that someone I`m supposed to know?` and he was like `I have no idea,`" the source said. "A couple months later, this person is CEO of a unit or whatever… I`m all for collaboration, but it`s just weird."

During meetings, Neumann had a tendency to switch to Hebrew, leaving non-speakers of the language out of the loop. A former mid-level executive said he joked about buying the language program Rosetta Stone for his team, while another employee said some assistants were actually learning Hebrew. 

Neumann often brought in friends and family without much experience for particular roles, and those who didn`t succeed floated to other jobs in the company, multiple ex-employees said. 

"If we didn`t have a job for them, we`d have to create a job for them," a former WeWork recruiter said. "If they would not show up to work, or had subpar performance, we could literally do nothing to fire them. So we`d be using headcount on someone who wasn`t even coming to work."

See more: WeWork details CEO Adam Neumann`s web of loans, real-estate deals, and family involvement with the company

Two ex-employees remember Neumann`s father sitting in on meetings, both internal and external, for reasons unclear. He didn`t say much, and one former assistant said he was polite, thanking the support staff. 

Then there was Neumann`s sister Adi, who is not a WeWork employee, and her husband Avi Yehiel, a former professional soccer player. Yehiel had no corporate experience, but parlayed his 15 years in the pro leagues to become the head of wellness of WeWork`s gym effort, Rise by We.

Adi Neumann and Adam Neumann

Support staff had to provide Adi building badges that worked internationally and even reserved work email addresses for her children, who at the time were under age 4. 

Like her father, Adi Neumann also sat in on meetings. One executive who spent years at WeWork until its recent headaches remembers Adi as being kind and her husband as competent. But sometimes, said another, she treated WeWork assistants — who were not her own staff – "like the help."

When flying to a corporate event, she once walked back from first class, spotted an assistant in coach, and, in front of her children, asked the employee to watch the kids while she took a call. The assistant felt there was no choice but to agree.

"You could hear people audibly having sex in their tents all day and night"

In August 2018, a WeWork employee arrived in Tunbridge Wells, England, and settled into a tent with a colleague. They were there for "Summer Camp." Camp was one of WeWork`s mandatory employee annual retreats that the company threw annually until last year, its final year. 

WeWork booked and paid for employees` plane tickets, and employees literally slept in tents. They could sign up for tent "zones" with options that ranged from an "up all night" zone close to the music venue to spots that were quieter and farther away. 

If employees wanted an upgrade in accommodations, they had to pay for that themselves. "If you wanted electricity or a cot you could pay more," a staffer explained. Some people paid 1,800 for a cot in a yurt, which campers referred to as "raj tents."

NOVEMBER 11: Adam Neumann Co-founder and CEO and Miguel McKelvey - Chief Creative Officer attends the WeWork London launch party on November 11, 2015 in London, England

The agenda was an array of activities like crafts, yoga, meditation, rock-wall climbing, pottery, archery, trapeze, roller disco, canoeing, cocktail making, and whiskey tasting, mixed with an inspirational talk from Neumann or Deepak Chopra. Evenings featured private performances by major artists like Lourde, Bastille, Crystal Fighters, Florence and the Machine, and Two Door Cinema Club. Employees we talked to marveled at how much the event must have cost.

Camp was universally described by employees who attended as a party beyond compare.

"Oh my god, Camp," said another employee who attended two camps, including the final one in 2018. "We`re talking people having sex in the bushes, people openly popping pills, railing lines [of drugs] in the middle of crowds while watching Bastille perform. You could hear people audibly having sex in their tents all day and night. People peeing all over the place, and pulling down their pants and defecating in between the tents because they are so drunk they can`t even make it to the bathroom."

Not only was alcohol abundant — one person recalled a member of Neumann`s executive team "shotgunning" (piercing and then chugging) a beer around 6 AM — multiple attendees said that pot was easily found as well. Employees compared it to Coachella and Burning Man. 

See more: A former WeWork executive who made 300,000 and is now suing describes strange cultlike culture, including endless flows of alcohol at mandatory sleepover camp for employees and the CEO`s children on his lap during an all-hands meeting

"Part of that is to build community but it was over the top," the person said. "I went again last year and people were like, `Why do I have to do this?` I loved going out there but the way they forced that on you was unnecessary."

WeWork SF

Camp was only one of the company`s mandatory employee parties. WeWork also throws another, more business-focused event called Summit. At Summit, during the day, employees listened to inspirational talks from WeWork executives and business leaders. At night, they partied.

At first, the party culture was exciting, nearly every employee said. But as months and years of employment went by, and employees found themselves working 12-14 hour days, some became disillusioned.

"It was like someone took [employees] to a carnival [and] lured them to a place where they become jackasses. This guy [Neumann] is going to lead you into insanity with a very tempting package. You feel so lucky that your employer is so casually comfortable about these things," one former employee said.

⛺️ Our tent ⛺️ in the rain...... 🌧 #WeWorkSummerCamp2018 #EridgePark #UnitedKingdom #UK #Britain

A post shared by 🇭🇰Edmund Chan エドモンド🇭🇰 (@edmund_ec) on Aug 16, 2018 at 6:17am PDT on

 

Neumann bragged about his own partying, recounting a story to employees when he and other executives stayed up all night drinking and breaking office windows, multiple people said.

It stuck one employee in the audience as juvenile: "You`re not rockstars, you left that mess for people to clean up. They thought they were so cool and they were so badass. It was really unprofessional."

Neumann`s spokesperson acknowledged the broken windows, describing it as an accident. "We wanted it cleaned up by morning so that nobody would get hurt by the broken glass," the spokesperson said.

The party atmosphere was not confined to WeWork employees. The New York headquarters has become known for its wild annual Halloween party. They sell tickets and promote it on social media. Other locations now also throw Halloween parties for members.

She got a taste of the party culture in her first week on the job. "At the first HQ meeting I went to, tequila shots were passed around. Part of me thought, this is cool."

It didn`t take long for her to grow weary of it, she said, as she experienced incidents like drunk tenants grabbing her rear end at events to "people puking" in the corners, which left her or someone on her team with a messy cleanup.

WeWork`s parties yielded other disturbing tales in addition to the frequent substance abuse.

WeWork Halloween party

During Halloween 2018, one recently-hired employee had a startling experience when a group of about a dozen employees were discussing their favorite costumes.

"A member of my team, a white male, he pulls out his phone and he said he dressed up as Dr. J [Julius Erving] — the basketball player — for Halloween, and he shows everybody a picture of him doing blackface. He showed the picture around and I looked around and nobody seemed shocked at all."

The new employee didn`t want to confront his colleague at that time – but the experience made him think differently about his team. "I was surprised that, at that time it was 2018, nobody on the team, which everybody was white besides myself, nobody made us think about it. Nobody said anything about it." 

A boys` club

Multiple women and people of color said they felt WeWork`s professed culture of inclusivity didn`t seem to include them. 

Women "played a secondary role. They were told to not get involved — not get involved in a substantial way — to not talk too much about what they were contributing in big meetings and sometimes were brought artificially into meetings to sit there while their male counterparts would speak on their behalf," said one male employee who worked closely with the C-suite. 

WeWork employees"It seemed to be the case that at least the Israeli men at the top treated women differently than a lot of the other men in the organization. It was a little bit like a boys` club. A lot of them were friends from childhood," this male employee said.  

Over a dozen women told Business Insider they felt gender dynamics were not appropriate on their teams. Several women said they were left out of meetings entirely; one, who was not an assistant, was told not to speak and only to take notes. The head of one business unit "took everything I created and presented it to the board," without giving any credit, another woman said. 

Others told stories about senior male members of their team inviting young women back to their tents during Camp. A few employees told multiple stories of alleged sexual harassment incidents that they heard about or believed they witnessed.  

Outside of headquarters, community managers and other building staff said they sometimes felt unsafe staying late to wrap up events where there had been plenty of alcohol and carousing.

A person who worked as a cleaner for WeWork recalled an incident in which a company executive propositioned a female cleaner in front of him, saying, "`I`ll take you all over the world if you want.` He told me `Oh, you`re the cleaner, this is your girlfriend? I could get rid of you if I wanted.`" 

wework culver city los angeles la

WeWork is now facing accusations in court. It is being sued by two former executives on claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. In one case, Lisa Bridges, a former HR executive, said she was put on leave and the company moved to terminate her after she presented concerns about gender discrimination to top executives. Her June lawsuit alleges sexual harassment and gender discrimination. 

Last year, WeWork`s former director of culture, Ruby Anaya, filed a similar lawsuit after she said she was inappropriately touched by two employees who were not disciplined after she raised the issue. She said she was fired after bringing up pay disparities and disagreeing about the company`s decision not to fire the second employee who allegedly acted inappropriately. 

WeWork has previously denied the allegations and said both of these lawsuits are meritless.

A live tiger and Saudis

Some insiders said Neumann`s ties to wealthy Saudi Arabians was another source of discomfort, and a flagrant contradiction of WeWork`s stated values in light of the gruesome murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. 

One former assistant said his colleague had assisted Neumann at a meeting with wealthy Saudis at one of their Los Angeles mansions where a live tiger roamed the premises. Another former executive said they had heard about the tiger meeting, too.  

Mohammed bin Salman

In a spring conversation with Business Insider about whether he thinks Silicon Valley has a Saudi Arabia problem, Neumann admitted to "hovering" around the question and would not directly comment on the kingdom. He said that going forward he would not accept money from a source he disagreed with morally.

Neumann`s spokeswoman said WeWork canceled its participation in a high-profile Saudi business conference last year after Khashoggi`s death. 

Even so, for some, the Saudi connection was a reminder of the gap between the lofty values WeWork professed under Neumann, and the reality. 

There were other examples, multiple people said. For instance, shortly after Neumann famously banned employees from expensing meat last year he was spotted eating a "giant lamb shank" at an executive offsite in WeWork`s Times Square outpost.

Neumann also decreed that the company would move away from printing; the source said "they`re printing more than ever." 

And of course, the calls for thrift were tough to reconcile with the extravagant parties and private jet. 

Is there life after Adam?

Gulfstream G650ERWith Neumann now sidelined and some of his inner circle let go, there is plenty of excess to unwind at WeWork.

Some of the most egregious, like Neumann`s sale of the brand "We" to his own company for 6 million, have already been reversed. Summer Camp, which cost millions to throw was shut down after the 2018 session.

And one of the first orders of business by the new pair of CEOs replacing Neumann was to put the Gulfstream G650 often used by the founder and his family up for sale.  

Artie Minson, one of WeWork`s co-CEOs, was viewed by some as in Neumann`s inner circle — he was around for the wild years — and Sebastian Gunningham, the other, is seen as a relative newcomer who stayed on Neumann`s outskirts. The pair have their work cut out for them rehabilitating the remaining executive ranks loyal to the Neumann way.

See more: WeWork`s new CEOs could still have a rough time dealing with Adam Neumann, experts say

Whether WeWork can ever be rehabilitated into a "normal" company — one attractive enough to go public at an acceptable valuation —  is hardly a given, though.

The example of Uber, the ride-hailing giant that ousted its controversial founder Travis Kalanick in 2017 to clear the way to an IPO, looms large. Uber has cleaned up its act, but the company has still not figured out how to make its business profitable and the stock is down more than 30% from its IPO price.

Neumann is the force that made WeWork what it is, for better and for worse. He remains one the company`s largest shareholders, but without him in the driver`s seat, WeWork is not the same company anymore.

Read more: The WeWork S-1t Show: How the co-working giant went from a 47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just 6 weeks

The end of the extreme party culture and the shelving of the tequila will no doubt come as a relief to many. But without the passion and drive of WeWork`s charismatic but flawed founder, it`s tough to imagine employees devoting the long hours that fueled WeWork`s rapid growth.

And with the prospect of an immediate 100 billion IPO payout now in tatters, the allure of WeWork`s equity is gone for new recruits and maybe even some of the true believers. 

Between the burnout and marginalization, one source said he learned a clear lesson from his years at WeWork. 

"Never kill yourself for a company again. That`s what I learned. Never think you`re indispensable – look what happened to Adam."

Additional reporting by editorial fellow Alex Nicoll.

Got a tip? Contact Meghan Morris on Signal at (646) 768-1627 or Julie Bort on Signal at (970) 430-6112 using a non-work phone, or email Bort at [email protected] or Morris at [email protected] Open DMs on Twitter at @MeghanEMorris  or @Julie188. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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NOW WATCH: All the ways Amazon is taking over your house

Britain`s Prince Harry exchanged gifts with Malawi`s president during his first official visit to the country on Sunday, where he also visited a college and was joined by his wife Meghan via video call.
Algeria`s army said on Sunday it would not back any candidate in a presidential election set for December to choose a successor to Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
A fire broke out on Sunday at a container inside a crowded refugee camp on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos close to Turkey and one person was killed, emergency services said.
Protesters continue to clash with police for the 17th consecutive week, launching petrol bombs and bricks in clashes ahead of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the People`s Republic of China. CNN`s Will Ripley reports live from Hong Kong.
Doctors have advised Morocco`s King Mohammed VI to rest for several days to recover from a viral lung infection that forced him to miss a remembrance ceremony in Paris for France`s late president Jacques Chirac, the palace said on Sunday.
Britain will need to take negotiations with the EU on Brexit up to the deadline to force the changes needed to a get deal that will pass through parliament trade minister Liz Truss said on Sunday.
As hurricane Lorenzo moves closer, Portugal`s Azores archipelago is bracing for strong winds, heavy rain and towering waves and the country`s meteorology agency IPMA said there was more than an 80% chance of the storm hitting the mid-Atlantic islands.
Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz triumphed in Sunday`s parliamentary election while the scandal-tainted far right took a beating and the Greens surged, leaving Kurz the option of forming a coalition with either of them.
At least 2.2 million people voted in Afghanistan`s presidential election with more votes to come, the election commission head Maulana Abdullah said on Sunday, indicating a very low turnout that could mar the result.
A fire broke out on Sunday at a container inside a crowded refugee camp on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos close to Turkey and then the refugees clashed with police, the emergency services said.
A shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck off Chile`s coast on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

spacex starship steel rocket moon lunar base launch flight illustration EFmQFf1U0AAVyJN

  • SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to launch a prototype of its planned Starship reusable rocket system into orbit in less than six months. 
  • Musk presented an update on the system at the company`s launch facility in Cameron County, Texas on Saturday.
  • SpaceX expects an existing prototype of the system to attempt a 65-foot flight within a month or two. 
  • The company plans to begin work in the next few months on other prototypes that it expects to reach orbit.
  • "This is going to sound totally nuts, but I think we want to try to reach orbit in less than six months," Musk said.
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk believes the company is on the cusp of achieving "the holy grail of space" travel with its planned reusable Starship rocket system.

He aims to put a prototype in orbit in as little as six months.

Musk laid out the ambitious timeline during a presentation at the company`s launch facility in Cameron County, Texas on Saturday. The presentation was delivered 11 years to the day after SpaceX`s first rocket, the Falcon 1, first delivered a payload into space. 

The planned Starship system, unlike the Falcon 1, is designed to be fully reusable. Rapidly reusable orbital rocket systems will be key to making space travel practical and affordable, Musk said. Just as cars and planes can make more than one trip per day, he believes rockets will need the ability to make multiple trips to space and back.

"This is basically the holy grail of space," Musk said. 

Musk aims to launch the Starship system, which includes a 164-foot stainless-stell rocket, into orbit by early next year.

"This is going to sound totally nuts, but I think we want to try to reach orbit in less than six months," Musk said. "Provided the rate of design improvement and manufacturing improvement continues to be exponential, I think that is accurate to within a few months."

Here`s the timeline that Musk laid out during the presentation:

  • In one to two months: A smaller Starship prototype, called the Mark 1, is expected to take a controlled, 65-foot flight. 
  • In a few months: SpaceX will finish building another Starship prototype, the Mark 2. It will begin building other prototypes, including the Mark 3, which should take three months to build, and the Mark 4, which will take four or five months to compete. SpaceX expects to improve the design and manufacturing methods with each of these prototypes.
  • In less than six months: SpaceX expects to launch into orbit with either its Mark 4 or 5 prototypes.  

After that, Musk plans for SpaceX to launch many more flights to test the reliability of the Starship system. 

Musk ultimately intends for the system to be able to ferry people back and forth between Earth and space.

"I think we could potentially see people fly next year," Musk said. "We can do many flights to prove out the reliability very quickly."

However, the company still needs to figure out how to keep human passengers alive with oxygen, food, and water during trips, Musk said.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Sharks aren`t the deadliest creatures on Earth. Here are the top 10.

A collection of 25 supercars seized from Equatorial Guinea`s vice president as part of a Swiss money-laundering probe fetched nearly 27 million Swiss francs (27 million) at an auction held by Bonhams on Sunday.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte`s spokesman on Sunday criticized a U.S. lawmaker for making a "baseless" accusation of abuse in the case of a detained critic of the Filipino leader.

Impossible Burger at home

  • Starting this month, Impossible Foods is finally offering its veggie-based version of ground beef in supermarkets.
  • Impossible already has burgers at Burger King (the Impossible Whopper) and White Castle, as well as a variety of smaller restaurants. This is the first time people can buy the ingredients directly and make their own Impossible meals.
  • On Wednesday, I made Impossible Burgers for lunch and dinner — four in total between myself and my partner.
  • The experience was familiar, of course, but distinctly different from what I`m used to with ground beef.
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

Burgers, as we all know, are delicious — a near-perfect combination of fatty, salty meat with creamy cheese and fresh vegetables, all wrapped in a soft, crusty bun.

In my mind, the ideal burger is something along the lines of what you`d find at Shake Shack or In-N-Out: a smashburger. Not the chain, but the concept: a relatively small, concise burger.

It`s that type of burger, or something like it, that I set out to make on Wednesday with the newly available Impossible Foods "meat." The experience was both fascinating and familiar.

SEE ALSO: Impossible Foods CEO slams rivals` `awful` products that he says help convince shoppers that all plant-based meat alternatives `suck`

First and foremost, the raw version of the Impossible Burger looks an awful lot like highly processed ground beef.

Impossible`s "beef" looks very similar to actual ground meat — albeit highly processed ground meat, along the lines of Spam.

It has a kind of compacted feeling as well, no doubt because of the way it`s sold: in a plastic pouch. It feels condensed because it has been condensed.

This is a notable difference from ground beef that often comes in long strands, directly from the grinder. The best burgers are made from relatively loose ground beef that hasn`t been "overworked," which felt like a strike against Impossible`s "meat" right out of the box.

(Spoiler: It turned out to not be a problem at all.)



Yes, you can eat Impossible`s "meat" totally raw. Honestly, it tastes pretty good uncooked.

If you`ve ever eaten a terrine, or a Thai laab, or another type of chopped-meat dish, you`ll be right at home eating Impossible`s "meat" raw. It could certainly use some salt, but the product straight out of the packaging packs a surprisingly savory, umami-rich punch.

Also of note: It`s got a lot of chew, distinctly different from the paste-like consistency of pâté.

To that end, Impossible Foods has test-served its "beef" as tartare — and that`s unsurprising. With the right crowd, it would totally work.



But let`s not kid ourselves: My goal was making burgers, not eating veggie tartare.

For each of the four burgers I made, I did the same thing I`d do when making a standard burger:

  1. Weigh out 3 ounces of veggie meat.
  2. Gently roll it into a ball, then gently form that into a thin patty.
  3. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper.

I used a standard stainless-steel pan set over the highest flame on my hottest burner, slicked with a teensy bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking (a 1/2 teaspoon or less). After two to three minutes, I flipped the patties and topped the seared side with a slice of white American cheese.

Outside of toasting the bun and preparing vegetables, this was the process I repeated for each of the four burgers I made. It is exactly the same process I use for making beef burgers, and it produces consistently delicious burgers.

What was most amazing, right off the bat, was how directly this process applied to Impossible`s veggie burgers.



The Impossible Burger cooks very much like a beef burger, which was shocking to me.

Anyone who`s cooked lots of burgers knows how to tell when to flip: The edges of the patty facing down start to curl a little and change color, and a bit of liquid tends to pool on the top.

It`s an age-old sign that it`s time to flip the burger, which is then quickly topped with a slice of cheese that can melt as the second side sears.

Impressively, the Impossible Foods veggie version acts very similar. If anything, I found that it seared a bit faster than a standard beef burger.

Best of all, the Impossible Burger is incredibly friendly to eaters who like crispy edges on their burgers (like me). Part of what Shake Shack is so well known for is exactly this, and it`s stunningly easy to re-create with Impossible`s veggie patty.



Visually, the Impossible Burger is stunningly close to the real thing.

There are some pretty impressive visuals inside an Impossible Foods burger.

It`s got crags and a seared, crispy exterior, where melted cheese can blend with the patty to form something new. It bleeds, as you can see above, into the bun below it, just as a beef burger would — remember, I used almost no oil in the pan, so any juices coming off the patty are from the burger itself. The edges look like a loose amalgamation of protein strands, just like on a ground-beef patty.

Honestly, you could very likely market and sell these burgers as beef burgers and most people wouldn`t be able to tell the difference.



But anyone paying close attention would quickly realize the difference: Impossible`s burger doesn`t taste like beef. It`s close! But it`s not beef.

Do you know the word "unctuous"? It`s kind of gross-sounding, so bear with me for a moment: It means "of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy."

Some of the best meat dishes are so great because of their unctuousness. Your favorite roast, for instance, is made particularly delicious because of the slow rendering of its fat, which makes the roast more tender and more flavorful.

Simply put: Fat is a major component of what makes meat taste good.

And not just any fat — the type of fat and the type of animal it`s connected to (to say nothing of what the animal ate or how it was raised) can make a huge difference in taste and complexity. That`s all before we start talking about how a particular dish was cooked.

No matter how much coconut oil and sunflower oil Impossible adds to its fake beef, it cannot replicate naturally occurring animal fat in meat. It can come close! And it does come close with its ground-beef replacement. But it`s missing a layer of complexity that beef has.



But just because it doesn`t taste exactly like beef doesn`t mean it`s not delicious. Let me be clear: The Impossible Burgers I made were absolutely delicious.

There are some massive upsides to making and eating an Impossible Burger over a beef burger.

For one, after eating several burgers, I didn`t feel as if I`d eaten several burgers. It was clear that I`d eaten, but I didn`t feel heavy or greasy or gross — I just felt pleasantly full.

For another, searing was even easier with the Impossible Burger than with a beef burger. It sits flatter against the pan, thus more easily pulling an even sear.

Perhaps most importantly, the Impossible Burger gets aggressively crispy, which is truly delightful insofar as it replicates one of the primary functions of a patty in a smashburger.



Let`s talk downsides: the smell, the sliminess, and the lack of true beef flavor.

My initial impressions of Impossible Foods` meat were not positive.

When I took it out of the package, it reminded me more of opening a can of dog food (which I, unfortunately, do every day) than opening a butcher`s package full of ground beef. There was a surprisingly strong scent, which ground beef usually doesn`t have, and a general sliminess to the product. That latter bit was especially bad, because slimy ground beef is usually a good indication that it`s gone bad.

About 25 seconds later, after I had more closely sniffed and actually tasted the veggie "beef," things improved considerably. It quickly leapt from alien object to something more familiar: a kind of verisimilitude of beef that my brain accepted as real enough.

My wife wasn`t quite as easily sold. The first burger I made in her presence she said smelled like chocolate. By the second burger, her impression of the cooking smell had turned from "like chocolate" to "weird."

Notably, she ate the burger and didn`t say it tasted bad — but she did say that "it doesn`t taste like a burger."



The biggest downside of all: the premium price.

At most grocery stores, you`ll pay anywhere from 3 to 8 for a pound of ground beef.

It`s pretty rare to pay the higher end of that spectrum. I had to call the fanciest butcher shop in Brooklyn, The Meat Hook, which prides itself on being a more labor-intensive whole-animal butchery, to find some ground beef that costs 8 a pound.

But Impossible Foods is selling less than a pound of its ground "meat" — 12 ounces — for 9, a pretty stark comparison to the 3 you could pay for more ground beef.

I asked Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown about the price during an Impossible Foods event in New York City on Thursday. Here`s what he had to say:

"We`re priced in the range of what I would say is premium ground beef at this point, not the kind of super-mass-market ground beef. And that`s because although structurally our economics are vastly better than the animal-based food industry — because we use less than a twenty-fifth of the land, a tenth of the water, less than a twelfth of the fertilizer input, and all the things that are driving expensive meat production — what we lack, that they have, is massive scale. We`re scaling up right now from tiny to big, and it`s only when we get to a bigger scale when we realize the advantages of our process. And our goal is to get our prices affordable to everybody in the world, not just even in the US but in the developing world, as fast as we possibly can. But it doesn`t happen instantly, and we can`t sell our products at a loss if we want to stay in business. Fortunately, we have more demand than we can handle at our current price."

In so many words: As Impossible`s "meat" becomes more popular, its price should correspondingly decrease as its makers feel more of the financial benefits of the company`s more environmentally friendly approach to food creation.

Let`s hope that`s the case, because 9 for 12 ounces is an awfully high price to pay for a burger.



Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz triumphed in Sunday`s parliamentary election, as widely expected, but he will need a coalition partner to form a stable government and the vote left him several options across the political spectrum.
More than 20,000 Russians took to the streets of Moscow on Sunday to demand the release of protesters jailed over the summer in what opponents of the Kremlin say is a campaign to stifle dissent.
Turkish fighter jets have downed a drone that violated Turkey`s airspace from Syria six times, the defense ministry said on Sunday, adding that the drone`s nationality could not be immediately determined.
Hong Kong singer and activist Denise Ho was attacked on Sunday by a masked man who threw red paint at her at a rally in Taiwan held in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

Muzamil (Asjad Mohamed) and Sulaiman (Mahmoud Elsaraj). Photo credit: Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

For the first time in its history, Sudanese feature film ‘You Will Die at 20’ directed by Amjad Abu Alala won the Best Narrative Feature Film award at El Gouna Film Festival’s third edition.

This is the first Sudanese narrative feature film to ever participate in the festival. Its international debut was in late August during the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Luigi De Laurentiis Award and was nominated for Fedeora Award. ‘You will Die at 20’ also participated in the internationally renowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier in September.

Inspired by Sudanese folktales, the film follows a prophecy of a child who was portended to die at the age of 20.

On the Simaya, the naming ceremony of her firstborn child’s naming ceremony, Sakina, played by Islam Mubark receives a devastating prophecy by a traveling sheikh who announced that her son, Muzamil, who is also the protagonist in the film, would die in two decades.

Muzamil, played by Moatasem Rashid then as a teen by Mustafa Shehata, means, “wrapped in clothes” after his forecasted future. His mother Sakina mourns over her son’s life while she raises him on her own. His father Alnoor, played by Talal Afifi, fled to Ethiopia upon hearing the news of which he could not bear.

Restricted by his overprotective mother as the shadow of death follows, Muzamil grows curious towards the world he will soon depart. After the town’s elders convinced Sakina to loosen her leashes, the young boy was finally enrolled in a Quran school where he was bullied by children who knew his fate.

While delivering bootleg alcohol to his father’s friend Sulaiman, played by Mahmoud Elsaraj, Muzamil began seeing him as a father figure who sparked his interest in the world beyond the eastern Sudan state of Al Jazira. Sulaiman, who has an unexplained love for cinema, introduces the young teen to films. Muzamil then begins questioning the accuracy of his fate.

“Boasting a terrific visual sensitivity, this rare film from Sudan has a fable-like quality in its depiction of an isolated village where superstition constrains its people,” writes Jay Weissberg in his review for Variety.

Films from the country where the two Niles meet are limited as this is the eight feature film in Sudan’s history. Abu Alala alongside other Sudanese directors and filmmakers including Hajooj Kuka and Suhaib Gasmelbari are trying to revive the country’s film industry that has been stagnant for half a century.

Bangladesh`s drug regulatory authority on Sunday issued a ban on sales of popular heartburn drug ranitidine while it investigates a potential cancer-causing substance in the drug.
Britain will not ignore the treatment of protesters in Hong Kong when they are beaten indiscriminately, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday.

AbominableUniversal

  • DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios won the domestic box office for Universal with its animated movie "Abominable."
  • The movie brought in an estimated 20.85 million.
  • It`s the seventh Universal title to win the domestic box office this year, which passes Disney to be the most of any studio.
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

Universal`s DreamWorks Animation has teamed up with Chinese production company Pearl Studios to release the animated movie "Abominable," and the companies are cashing in on the collaboration. 

The cute tale of a magical yeti who with the help of a group of kids finds his way back home brought in 20.85 million domestically this weekend to win the box office. It has earned 10.2 million internationally.

The win for Universal marks the seventh for the studio in 2019, that breaks a tie with Disney for the most number one movies at the domestic box office (eight if you count the Focus Features win last weekend for "Downton Abbey," which is owned by Universal). It`s also the third original film by Universal this year to top the domestic box office (the other two were "Good Boys" and "Us.")

Read more: Spider-Man will stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a stunning reversal for Disney and Sony

This marks the first time DreamWorks has opened a movie in September, and it chose the right time to do it. With no other kid-focused titles in theaters (outside of "The Lion King," which has been in multiplexes since July), "Abominable" had no trouble finding its audience. And with a family-focused story set in Shanghai (plus many of the actors hired to do the voices being Asian), it checked all the boxes in delivering a culturally diverse property to audiences.

The motivation to go to theaters next week will be quite different when Warner Bros. releases the ultra-violent "Joker."

 

SEE ALSO: The top 9 shows on Netflix and other streaming services this week

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Alexander Wang explains how to wear all black without looking boring

Helicopter

  • Airbus` Voom, an on-demand helicopter ride-hailing company, has launched in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The company`s CEO, Clément Monnet, explained the company`s vision in an interview with Business Insider. 
  • Eventually, the service could run electric, flying robotaxis, and sees that helicopters are the starting point for that. 
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

On-demand helicopter flights are here, and competition in the space is heating up.

Following Uber Copter`s debut earlier this year (the airport connection service is now available to any Uber rider, not just power users), the space has begun a transition to what many investors see as a new wave of "urban air mobility" (UAM).

Now Airbus, the French aerospace giant, has entered the space.

Voom, a consumer-facing helicopter charger service that`s been active in Latin America for three years, launched this week in the San Francisco Bay Area, shuttling wealthy travelers between the region`s airports, Silicon Valley, and Napa`s wine country.

"We want to offer a better alternative to ground transportation to people living in an urban environment," Clément Monnet, the company`s chief executive, told Business Insider in an interview.

Like Uber and its older competitor Blade, business travelers and their corporate credit cards are the first target for Voom as it launches in the US. Prices start at 245 for a flight from Oakland to San Jose and climb as high as 425 from San Francisco International Airport to Napa.

Read more: I took a 120 Blade helicopter flight from midtown Manhattan to JFK Airport — here`s what it was like

"The key with Voom is that we have Airbus to understand how these markets behave," Monnet said, brushing off the intense competition from the bevy traditional helicopter chartering services.

Uber`s launch in particular, he says, "is great because it validates the assumptions we made three years ago when we decided that the best way to make UAM a reality was to incorporate first with helicopter as prep for the arrival of EVToL (Electric, vertical takeoff and landing)."

Earlier this year, Airbus` other UAM subsidiary showed off its vision for a flying taxi. The "Vahana" is an all-electric, four-seat aircraft, and successfully completed 50 full-scale test flights, the company said.

Voom declined to share ridership or revenue figures thus far, but Monnet said the company has shuttled "tens of thousands" of passengers in Mexico and Brazil so far. More cities are in the company`s sights, he said, though any announcements are still under wraps.

"We want to make Voom the platform of reference for Urban Air," Monnet said. "Thanks to our experience working in previous markets, and leveraging Airbus` expertise to work with the best in class operators in the world so that we can safely integrate with any type of platform to offer mobility services to passengers."

SEE ALSO: See inside Uber`s first passenger drone, which could eventually fly passengers at 150 mph while burning no fossil fuels

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Inside comedian Gabriel `Fluffy` Iglesias` 3 million Volkswagen bus collection

Tenerife experienced a power cut on Sunday affecting the entire island of about 1 million people, the regional government of the Canary Islands said via Twitter.
A prominent Egyptian activist who was released on probation in March was arrested on Sunday, said his family and a security source, the latest detention in what activists say is the largest wave of arrests since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office.
CAIRO, Sept 29 (MENA) - Egypt condoles with India over the victims of floods caused by torrential rains in northern Uttar Pradesh state, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Dozens have been killed and thousands moved to relief camps as a result of the flooding.

Cairo condoles with the government and people of India, the statement said, stressing confidence in New Delhi in overcoming this ordeal.

wework ipo play by play 2x1

Hello!

At 7:12 on a mild late-summer morning in New York City, WeWork`s registration papers hit the Securities and Exchange Commission`s website. 

So starts Dakin Campbell`s excellent read on how WeWork spiraled from a 47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just six weeks. Dakin writes: 

Almost immediately, all hell broke loose. A steady stream of rapid-fire headlines detailed Neumann`s self-dealing, mismanagement, and bizarre behavior. Within 33 days the offering was scuttled, WeWork`s valuation plummeted 70% or more, and Adam Neumann, who believed he would become the world`s first trillionaire, was ousted as CEO. What was supposed to be Neumann`s coronation as a visionary became one of the most catastrophically bungled attempted debuts in business history.

It`s a startling story. We`ll have lots more reporting on WeWork in the coming days, so keep an eye out for that. For now, here`s what we`re looking at: 

What did we miss? Let me know.

-- Matt

The future of transportation

I`m excited to announce that Business Insider is hosting an event focused on the future of transportation in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 22. IGNITION: Transportation will feature speakers like Zoox cofounder Jesse Levinson, Waymo chief external officer Tekedra N. Mawakana, and JetBlue Technology Ventures president Bonny Simi.

The event is complimentary. You can get more information on the event and apply to attend right here

The business world`s `show-and-tell` on sustainability

One of the main topics discussed at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week was the urgency required for completing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Rich Feloni caught up with Andrew Wilson, the International Chamber of Commerce`s permanent observer to the United Nations. He told us why he`s angry at the business world`s "show-and-tell" approach to sustainability, and he shared an advance copy of his plan to fix that

Finance and Investing

Citadel just cut a team managing more than 1 billion after an analyst and a data scientist broke internal compliance rules about trading in personal accounts

Citadel has liquidated a portfolio with more than 1 billion in energy investments run out of Texas after the analyst Josh Lingsch and the data scientist Derek Allums were fired from the firm this week for violating the firm`s rules around trading in personal accounts. 

Meet the 8 executives leading the most innovative tech projects on Wall Street

Take a quick scan of the headlines on any given day, and it might seem as if startups are driving the most interesting tech developments on Wall Street. 

The `single biggest risk` to investors is being widely ignored — and Morgan Stanley warns it could spawn a recession within months

The constant headlines surrounding the trade war with China have temporarily overshadowed another danger that`s brewing on home soil. 

Tech, Media, Telecoms

Why investors are starting to make big bets on Spinnaker, a Netflix-started software project that could be the next big thing in cloud computing

The first wave of cloud-computing startups focused on helping companies simply figure out how to operate in this new world of servers, rented from megaplayers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Five years after buying Oculus for 2 billion, Facebook says VR is ready to take off. Here`s what industry insiders think Facebook is finally getting right, and what`s holding VR back.

At this year`s Oculus Connect — Facebook`s annual developer`s conference for its virtual reality products— it`s impossible to escape the event`s tagline: "The time is now." 

The 16 power players leading the rise of free ad-supported streaming services in 2019

Ad-supported streaming services are taking flight in 2019, as more tech companies, digital startups, and legacy-media brands clamor to capture the billions in advertising dollars that are moving away from traditional TV.

Healthcare, Retail, Transportation

Best Buy just gave a 109-slide presentation on the future of the company. Here are the 7 crucial slides that spell out why the company is going all-in on healthcare.

We just got a clearer picture of how Best Buy plans to push into the 3.5 trillion US healthcare market.

We asked Uber Freight head Lior Ron everything about the tech giant`s push into trucking — from profitability to matching algorithms to tackling the trucker shortage. Here`s the full interview.

Uber Freight is a freight-brokerage technology for truck drivers and shippers from Uber. The tech giant is investing more and more into Uber Freight. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Amazon is reportedly seeking a new space in New York City. Here`s why the giant canceled its HQ2 plans 5 months ago.

Jennifer Tejada 100 list

  • Now valued at 2.15 billion on the publuc markets, PagerDuty is one of the most visible companies in the DevOps market — helping developers write more code, faster.
  • At an event last week, PagerDuty said that it`s been investing in technologies like machine learning and analytics, while also undergoing a marketing rebrand as it works to expand its community.
  • PagerDuty senior vice president Jonathan Rende told Business Insider that one of the company`s top priorities is to continue focusing on its "love affair" with developers, who love the service. 
  • PagerDuty`s stock sank despite beating Wall Street`s expectations from last quarter, but analysts are still hopeful.
  • PagerDuty went public in April, in a much-watched IPO — but then saw its stock sink after after it announced heavy losses in its most recent quarter. CEO Jennifer Tejada says that she doesn`t regret that the IPO happened when it did, saying it helped PagerDuty`s brand. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

PagerDuty is just about six months out from its April IPO, but CEO Jennifer Tejada says that not much has changed: the company is still focusing on developers. 

The 2.15 billion PagerDuty has its roots in creating products specifically for developers to help them quickly respond to IT incidents like outages. Tejada says that the company`s strength is that developers like the product so much, they get the rest of their company to start using it too. 

"What we`ve seen is, incident response has become more cross functionally important to a community," Tejada said at a media event last week. "We actually prefer our user community use PagerDuty and become champions of it inside the organization. Developers don`t like to be told what to do."

Next up, PagerDuty has been investing in analytics and machine learning software to help companies understand how their services are performing in real time, with information such as the total cost of outages, amount of downtime, and what it all means. Just Tuesday, PagerDuty released a new product with this capability.

"Whether in dev and IT or other teams, they`re much smarter using PagerDuty because the real-time work is made more effective," Jonathan Rende, PagerDuty`s senior vice president of products and marketing, told Business Insider. "We`re going to continue to build out that central nervous system. That`s really where we`re putting all of our investment going forward."

The IPO `was a milestone, but it`s not the end point`

When the IT company PagerDuty first went public, it was a hit with investors and soared 56%. 

After reporting heavy losses in its most recent earnings report, PagerDuty`s stock sank 13% — despite beating Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue, and despite showing strong sales growth. Still, analysts believe PagerDuty is poised for a comeback. 

William Blair partner Bhavan Suri wrote in a note to clients that he expects PagerDuty "to deliver a strong performance during the second half of fiscal 2020 and sustain attractive growth rates for the next few years," and customers that he spoke to are interested in using PagerDuty`s new products. He expects this to translate in PagerDuty`s stock as well. 

Tejada herself now says she feels "really good" about PagerDuty`s IPO outcome and its timing. She says that a big reason why PagerDuty went public was to build brand recognition. 

"PagerDuty has long been the bastion of the tech community," Tejada said. "That`s not often where investors live...For us, it was a milestone, but it`s not the end point. It has opened up a lot of opportunities for us as a company in addition to enhancing our balance sheet. It creates a lot more awareness for us as a company."

To seize on those opportunities, PagerDuty has also been focused on rebranding. Rende says that the company is launching new advertising campaigns, in what`s largely a first for the company — but still talking to developers to make sure its new image isn`t alienating them. 

"There`s PagerDuty love," Rende said. "It`s a real thing. If we rebrand and we don`t talk about that and we don`t have the right language, if we`re inauthentic, developers will sniff that out so fast, it`s like you`ve sold out. What we`ve really tried to do is amplify the message."

`A love affair with the users`

In the last year and a half, the company has doubled its investment in community, Rende says. PagerDuty co-founder and CTO Alex Solomon oversees community, which includes leading a team of evangelists, tasked with holding events and going to user meetups. 

The company has also been publishing its best practices online so developers can look to them as an example for how to respond to incidents. Rende says that every time PagerDuty releases a new product, it makes these best practices available for free online. Since these best practices are available as open source, developers can also contribute to them.

"That`s another thing we do to give back to the community and make sure we`re not just a corporation that`s not in touch with our users," Rende said.

Besides that, Tejada says she`s been spending time meeting with customers, and has now met with about 1,000 of them. She adds that her background helps keep her from staying in the Silicon Valley bubble. Outside of her duties as PagerDuty`s CEO, she serves on the board of cosmetics company Estée Lauder, where she jokes that she`s the "most poorly dressed person there." 

"I`m learning a lot too because I`m seeing how when you`re in the software industry, you think the whole world revolves around software," Tejada said. "Silicon Valley is still to me a foreign land with foreign customers, and I`m still the purple squirrel wandering around the place."

Read more: The CEO behind the smash-hit PagerDuty IPO says that she looked at 51 other chief exec roles before she chose to lead the 3.9 billion company

At this point, PagerDuty has now been around for 10 years, but Tejada says the DevOps market, or market for software targeted at development and operations, is still "very nascent."

"The vast majority of customers I meet and see barely have their engineers on call or can barely spell DevOps," Tejada said. "It`s a very, very early market. There`s room for many players."

Rende says that what makes PagerDuty stand out from other competitors is its "connection to the people."

"We always say we have a love affair with the users," Rende said. "Behind all that complexity that`s growing are people. We`re the folks that engage those folks so they can do the work."

SEE ALSO: Sentry, a startup co-founded by a former Dropbox engineer that helps developers run more reliable code, just raised 40 million

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We did a blind taste-test of KFC and Popeyes fried chicken — here`s the verdict

Hungary has no plans to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday, adding however that eastern and western members of the bloc must find a compromise over the bloc`s future.
A fuel shortage is deepening Yemen`s humanitarian crisis, forcing drivers to wait for days in lines that stretch back from some petrol stations as far as the eye can see.

Ring

  • Amazon`s new mesh network could enable the company to track your phone`s location, even if you don`t use its WiFi or products. 
  • Privacy watchdogs are sounding alarm bells about what that means for the company`s ability to surveil individuals.
  • Amazon regularly partners with law enforcement, turning over insights from its network of Ring cameras to police.
  • The company has not clarified many details surrounding how the mesh network will be used. 
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

Among the avalanche of new products unveiled at Amazon`s hardware event on Wednesday were two features that are a bit less tangible: "Sidewalk," a new wireless protocol that links smart objects, and "eero," a brand of WiFi router the company acquired and is selling for people to use in their homes.

With the new offerings, the number of Amazon-made routers and devices in homes and stores is set to increase nationwide. Sidewalk will use this proliferation of devices to build a "mesh network" —  a wireless network where each device communicates with one another, working together to transmit data across the network — that spans broad geographical areas. According to Amazon`s announcement, the company found that placing 700 devices across Los Angeles was enough to cover the entire metropolitan area of the city. 

Now, privacy watchdogs are sounding alarm bells about what that means for the company`s ability to surveil individuals.

Tech activist Liz O`Sullivan flagged the mesh network`s potential for surveillance during the Amazon hardware event and tweeted about it Thursday.

I’m freaking out about this Amazon Sidewalk mesh network stuff. Here’s why:

1. Amazon is pushing WiFi so you have to send all your traffic through their access points. W/e, no surprises there. But did you know they can track you even if you’re not logged onto their network? https://t.co/F5pJNsFiT7

— Liz O`Sullivan 👾 (@lizjosullivan) September 26, 2019

Here`s what you need to know about the new Amazon update and what it could mean for your privacy.

Amazon`s mesh network could help the tech giant monitor your phone`s location

Even if you don`t use Amazon`s wireless networks in your own home — or join its WiFi networks when you go out — the mesh network could enable Amazon to get data about the location of your devices.

Owners of WiFi networks can track what devices are nearby even if those devices don`t sign onto the network, just like a smartphone can detect nearby networks without signing on. 

If you`re in range of a wireless network owned by Amazon, the company could receive information like your device`s MAC address, a unique identifier assigned to each device. If you`ve used that device to download an Amazon app or log into your Amazon account, the company could pair that MAC address with your user profile.

Why does this matter?

The technology that allows owners of WiFi routers to track nearby devices is nothing new. But it`s unusual for companies to build such sprawling mesh networks using devices that users set up in their own homes.

On top of that, Amazon is a company with a demonstrated interest in tracking users` data and location. Geographic data is an important tool for building user profiles and targeting advertisements accordingly, a growing business for almost all big tech companies.

Additionally, Amazon has multiple contracts with police, turning over insights from its network of Ring cameras to as many as 200 police departments nationwide, according to a Motherboard report.

For the time being, many of the details surrounding how Sidewalk and eero networks will work remains unclear. Amazon has not specified what sort of data it will track with its new mesh networks, or whether that data will be up for grabs by the law enforcement agencies it partners with. 

An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to Business Insider`s questions regarding how it will use geolocation data gleaned from its mesh network.

SEE ALSO: Amazon is more cozy with the police than you might realize

Join the conversation about this story »

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In Bolivia`s fire-ravaged lowlands, a caravan of indigenous protesters is marching hundreds of miles to demand President Evo Morales declare a surge in wildfires a national disaster, a move they hope will unleash international aid.
A fire broke out in the Haramain high-speed rail station in Saudi Arabia`s coastal city of Jeddah, injuring at least five people, the authorities said on Sunday.
CAIRO, Sept 29 (MENA) - Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez has hailed the International Court of Justice (ICJ`s) verdict on Egypt`s right to exercise its sovereignty over Taba as a diplomatic and legal victory.

On his Twitter account, the spokesman on Sunday said the ICJ`s ruling is a culmination of the Armed Forces` sacrifices to restore Sinai.

On December 29,1988, the ICJ ruled that Egypt had the right to exercise its sovereignty over Taba.
ZAQZIQ, Egypt, Sept 29 (MENA) - Zaqziq Criminal Court handed down on Sunday jail sentences ranging between one to three years against seven Muslim Brotherhood members over charges of rioting and violence.

The defendants are accused of inciting against State institutions, intimidating citizens and illegally possessing explosives.

Two of them were sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment and the rest to one year.

The defendants include, among others, a teacher, a school administration staffer and a senior Arabic teacher.

apple wallpapers 2x1

  • A group of friends set out to take photos of some of the iconic California-based locations from Apple`s macOS computer wallpapers, and made a YouTube video out of the experience. 
  • The landmarks are instantly recognizable, but some of the exact locations where the Apple macOS wallpaper photos were taken weren`t so obvious.
  • The photos are incredibly accurate, and the photographer even lets you download high resolution versions of the photos to use as your own wallpaper. 
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

A group of friends from California set out to take photos that exactly replicate Apple`s iconic California-based macOS wallpapers, and they nailed almost every wallpaper, except maybe the dunes of the Mojave desert and the waves at Mavericks. 

The group consisted of YouTuber Andrew Levitt, landscape photographer Taylor Gray, and videographer Andrew Phillips, and their journey took them to the Mojave Desert, Yosemite, El Capitan, and the Sierra mountains.

The friends documented the experience in a YouTube video. "I can`t tell you how many hours I`ve spent working at my computer, seeing these pictures and daydreaming about experiencing these places for myself," Levitt said in the video. "Conveniently, they`re all within a day`s drive away from me, which sparked an idea for an epic road trip." 

Gray made the photos from the trip available to freely download, which you can find here

Check out and judge for yourself whether the group did justice to Apple`s California-based macOS wallpapers:

SEE ALSO: Apple Mac Pro computers across Hollywood were mysteriously crashing, and it turned out a Google Chrome update was the culprit

Here`s Apple`s official default wallpaper for macOS Yosemite.



And here`s the Yosemite photo taken by Levitt and his friends. It`s almost identical, save for some clouds and probably Apple`s own photoshopping.



This is Apple`s default macOS El Capitan wallpaper.



The group seem to have nailed the location and shot, except for the weather.



Here`s Apple`s default wallpaper for macOS Sierra.



And here`s Levitt and company`s version. It looks like the original was taken in a different season, however.



This is Apple`s default wallpaper for macOS High Sierra.



Which the group captured almost exactly, except for the time of year.



Here`s the macOS Mojave default wallpaper.



Apple`s macOS Mojave wallpaper proved harder for the group to capture exactly, seeing as dunes constantly shift.



And finally, there`s the default wallpaper from OS X Mavericks.



But it didn`t quite go to plan for the guys...

 



Checkout out Levitt`s video below that shows you how the group captured each shot.

Youtube Embed:
//www.youtube.com/embed/5yZuaAQKnkY
Width: 600px
Height: 325px

 



The Last of Us: Part II

  • After years in development, "The Last of Us Part II" will arrive on PlayStation 4 on February 21, 2020.
  • The first "The Last of Us" is considered one of the best video games ever made — it`s even in the process of being adapted into a movie.
  • "The Last of Us Part II" picks up five years after the original game with a 19-year-old Ellie as a the main character.
  • Ellie is on a quest for revenge in a post-apocalyptic world that`s been devestated by an infectious mold that turns people into zombie-like monsters.
  • Developer Naughty Dog has confirmed that the game has no multiplayer.
  • Visit Business Insider`s homepage for more stories.

Sony has confirmed a February 21, 2020 release date for the "The Last of Us Part II," the highly anticipated follow-up to one of the most celebrated PlayStation games of all-time.

"The Last of Us Part II" will continue the story of the original game after a five-year time jump. Ellie, the teenager at the center of "The Last of Us," will return as the game`s main playable character.

"The Last of Us" is set in an alternate future where society has been crippled by an infectious mold that turns people into zombie-like monsters — and where just breathing in the spores can prove fatal. Ellie lives in a small community that has managed to sustain itself through these dark times.

Read more: Forget about 2019 — early 2020 is jam-packed with 6 major game launches

Naughty Dog, the studio responsible for the game`s development, says "The Last of Us Part II" is a story about hate. Ellie is on a quest for revenge, but it`s not exactly clear what`s triggered her rage. Early trailers show her hunting another group of survivors on a murderous tear.

Though the game is a just a few months away, there`s still plenty we don`t know about "The Last of Us Part II." We know that Joel, the hero from the original game, will return for "Part II," but the first game`s cliffhanger ending makes it unclear how Joel and Ellie`s relationship has changed in the past five years.

Naughty Dog has promised to honor their fans` appreciation for both characters, and the story of "Part II" is meant to complement the original game. However, Naughty Dog has also confirmed that multiplayer mode won`t be returning for this new game, the better to focus on the single-player story. 

Here`s everything we know about "The Last of Us Part II" so far:

SEE ALSO: Forget about 2019 — early 2020 is jam-packed with 6 major game launches

In "The Last of Us Part II," the world remains devastated by an infectious mold that turns people into zombie-like monsters.



Ellie, the teenage girl who needed protection in the original "The Last of Us," is now the game`s main character. "Part II" follows a 19-year-old Ellie five years after the conclusion of the first game.



Ellie still has the skills she learned during her cross country trip in "The Last of Us," and she`ll need them to survive against vicious gangs and infected monsters.



It`s a dangerous world, but Ellie has managed to find romance with Dina, a woman living in her community.



Based on the trailers, Ellie is on a quest for revenge in "The Last of Us Part II," but we still don`t know why. That probably means bad news for Dina.



"The Last of Us Part II" will continue the same style of survival-based action. Ellie will have to collect supplies and craft equipment to help her stay a step ahead of danger.



You`ll have access to guns and other weapons, but ammo is scarce. Even melee weapons like bats and axes will break after a few uses.



Using stealth to sneak past groups of enemies is an important part of the "The Last of Us." Ellie will be able to jump and dodge enemy attacks at close range too — extra movements that weren`t possible in the first game.



"The Last of Us Part II" will have a few new enemy types too. Guard dogs will track your scent, and new infected monsters have poisonous attacks.



Sneaking around will only get you so far — every now and then you`ll have to face your foes head-on.



Luckily Ellie isn`t afraid to fight back when she has to.



Joel, the man who helped guide Ellie through "The Last of Us," shows up to help her in "Part II," but it seems like the two haven`t seen each other in a long time.



Fans of "The Last of Us" will be especially curious to see how Ellie and Joel`s relationship has changed after the first game`s cliffhanger ending.



Another preview of "The Last of Us Part II" introduced us to a new group of characters being held hostage by a violent crew.



The group is freed after a brutal fight, but they`re attacked by the infected as the trailer closes. It`s likely that they`ll encounter Ellie at some point during the story.



"The Last of Us Part II" is just a few months away and there`s plenty we don`t know, but the suspense that comes with exploring a dangerous world is part of the fun.



There’s one thing we know won’t be making a return from the first game, though: A multiplayer mode. Developer Naughty Dog confirmed as much on Twitter, though it did hint that multiplayer could return in some other form.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1177392945458286595?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
An update regarding multiplayer: pic.twitter.com/CUd98LgJGC

 



"The Last of Us: Part II" will be available on February 21, 2020 for PlayStation 4. You can check out 15 minutes of gameplay below

Youtube Embed:
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Width: 560px
Height: 315px

 



A Moscow rally to demand the release of protesters had drawn 9,000 people on Sunday as of 1200 GMT and more people were arriving, a Russian protest monitor, White Counter, said on Twitter.
Yemen`s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Sunday broadcast footage it said was of a major attack near the border with Saudi Arabia`s southern region of Najran, adding that the images showed armored vehicles hit by blasts and surrendering fighters.
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