Jen Berrent, WeWork’s co-president and chief legal officer, is the only senior woman at WeWork and the company’s top legal executive.
Current and former employees have described her as an Adam Neumann and WeWork enforcer, the legal mastermind who found ways to protect the company and its CEO, no matter what tricky situation presented itself. She was in the room for many of the coworking company’s most critical meetings.
One person described her role as one who handles everyday issues so that his boss doesn’t have to, and in that sense said she is “Adam Neumann’s Michael Cohen.”
A spokesperson for WeWork declined to comment on behalf of both Berrent and the company.
“Adam worked closely with Jen for many years with great respect for her counsel and skills,” a spokesperson for Neumann told Business Insider. “She had responsibility for major parts of the company and was one of Adam’s most trusted managers and advisors.”
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Adam Neumann was screaming at Jen Berrent, the woman who had been, for the past five years, his closest company ally. The WeWork board had gathered on a late September day to force him to resign and he wasn’t going down without a temper tantrum.
Neumann was under a lot of stress. During a short-lived pre-roadshow for an IPO, the company he founded had been treated by institutional investors like a smelly box of compost; investors liked the general idea of the company but held their noses and their distance. No institutional investors were eager to buy the stock, as headline after headline documented the excesses of Neumann’s leadership style, WeWork’s partying culture, its odd governance structure and pages and pages of his alleged self-dealing disclosed in the prospectus.
Neumann, who is dyslexic, relied on Berrent, the company’s top lawyer, to oversee the …read more
Source:: Business Insider