Ex-Housing CEO in fray for WeWork top job

New Delhi: Former Housing-.com CEO and board director at Emaar, Jason Kothari, is in reckoning for the top job at Soft-Bank-backed American officesharing company WeWork, along with three others, said people familiar with the matter.

Kothari, known for his ability to swiftly turn around ailing companies — most of them SoftBank-backed startups like Snapdeal and Housing.com — is the only Indian among the people, who are being considered for leading and stabilising WeWork, following the forced departure of its cofounder Adam Neumann. It has also been reported that John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile US is one of the candidates. Kothari did not respond to queries from TOI.

When asked about the development, a SoftBank spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on speculation.” A WeWork spokesperson told TOI that Kothari being considered for the top post is not true. Kothari successfully led the turnaround of Softbankbacked Housing.com in oneand-half years, after its founder and CEO Rahul Singh quit, following a spat with the investors.

Housing.com changed its strategy and business plan, hired new management team and reduced operating costs by 70% and raised and additional $20 million from Softbank under Kothari’s watch.

Kothari, who served as chief strategy and investment officer at SoftBank-backed Snapdeal between January 2017 and June 2018, led the creation of Snapdeal 2.0 along with the founders and played a key role in restructuring the company. He helped the beleaguered e-tailer divest its non-core assets, including the sale of FreeCharge to Axis bank, which helped the startup raise $100 million for its core business.

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