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Senior WeWork executive exits after improper office relationship

Reeling since its abandoned public offering, WeWork has seen its culture come under scrutiny, stung by claims of discrimination during the tenure of co-founder Adam Neumann. The former CEO is known for his recreational marijuana use and for encouraging drinking -- particularly tequila -- at work events.

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Last Updated: Feb 25, 2020, 09.24 AM IST
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WeWork, which laid off 2,400 employees as part of a broader restructuring, fired 13 employees for violating company policies last year.
By Gillian Tan

A top WeWork sales executive resigned from the beleaguered co-working company earlier this month during an investigation into his inappropriate workplace conduct, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Grant McGrail, a senior vice president of account sales and strategic alliances, allegedly had a romantic relationship with a member of his team whom he promoted, said the people, who asked not to be identified.

After the allegations were raised earlier this month, human resources began an investigation. WeWork was prepared to fire the San Francisco-based executive for cause after completing its probe, but McGrail resigned on Feb. 14, one of the people said.

A spokesperson for WeWork confirmed McGrail’s departure, but declined to comment further. McGrail didn’t respond to requests for comment. Business Insider previously reported McGrail’s departure, without detailing the reasons behind it.

McGrail, who reported to WeWork Chief Sales Officer Nick Worswick, joined the SoftBank Group-backed office-sharing giant in 2017 in New York before relocating to San Francisco, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had been the head of enterprise sales, a key role as the company targets large companies such as Merck & Co., Microsoft Corp., Salesforce.com Inc. and KPMG rather than smaller startup clients.

Reeling since its abandoned public offering, WeWork has seen its culture come under scrutiny, stung by claims of discrimination during the tenure of co-founder Adam Neumann. The former CEO is known for his recreational marijuana use and for encouraging drinking -- particularly tequila -- at work events.

Companies across corporate America are parting ways with senior executives who engage in consensual relationships in the workplace. Companies including Oaktree Capital Group LLC, BlackRock Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. have terminated senior executives, in part because the #MeToo era has brought heightened awareness of power dynamics in the workplace.

WeWork, which laid off 2,400 employees as part of a broader restructuring, fired 13 employees for violating company policies, Bloomberg News reported last year. At the time, executive chairman Marcelo Claure told staff in a memo that WeWork “will not tolerate behavior that disrespects our people, members or business.”

( With assistance from Ellen Huet.)

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