Co-working giant WeWork announced that Andre Fernandez will be stepping in as Chief Financial Officer, a role that has seen three changeovers since March of 2020. Fernandez was previously the CFO of NCR Corporation, an Atlanta-based software business. His résumé also includes President and Chief Executive Officer at CBS Radio, and CFO at Journal Communications. Fernandez’s predecessor, Benjamin Durham, is exiting the company after joining WeWork in 2018 as head finance officer for its Americas division before getting promoted to CFO. Overall, Durham only sat in the CFO seat for 18 months. His official exit is set for June 9th.
But what does this spinning merry-go-round of c-level financial forecasters mean for WeWork? Some analysts insist that the rapid turnover is indicative of a refinement of the role over a short period of time, but others beg to differ. Josh Wimberley, founder of executive recruiting firm LeadChange LLC, implies that the quick turnaround in the CFO position is far from the norm. To that effect, Wimberley told The Wall Street Journal that three changeovers in less than three years is “a lot of executive turnover.”
According to executive recruitment company Crist Kolder Associates, average CFO tenure at companies in the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 was 4.8 years in 2021, which was roughly unchanged from the previous year. If WeWork is not able to keep this CFO for long investors might lose confidence in the now public company. The company stock is down almost thirty percent since the IPO but the company has fared rather well in the past few weeks compared to the selloff that brought down stock prices in the larger market.