Publicis Groupe chairman Maurice Levy has agreed to become WeWork’s interim chief marketing officer to help stem the damage suffered by the brand due the collapse of its initial public offering, exit of co-founders Adam and Rebekah Neumann, bailout by Japan’s Softbank and firing of 2,400 employees.
He told the Financial Times that WeWork chair Marcelo Claure, the Sprint executive who was installed by Softbank at the office sharing company, asked him to take the job.
Publicis is Sprint’s ad agency. Levy and Claure have worked together for a number of years. The French’s firm’s Kekst CNC unit works for WeWork.
Levy, 77, said it would have been better for WeWork to hire a younger CMO and communications director but “there is an emergency situation where this is a need to help for a few weeks or months.”
He said WeWork’s turnaround effort will be an “interesting and fun challenge.”
The initial focus will be to stop “the flow of bad news” and refocus efforts on WeWork’s core business, which Levy believes is in decent shape. “The mistakes have been ata the fringes," he told the FT.