(JTA) — The ousted CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann believed he “was even capable of solving the world’s thorniest problems,” including the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Israeli-born Neumann, who stepped down as WeWork CEO in September, helped President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner on his Mideast peace effort, Vanity Fair reported in a Nov. 21 article.
Neumann assigned WeWork’s director of development, Roni Bahar, to hire an advertising firm to produce a video for Kushner showing what an economically transformed West Bank and Gaza would look like, the magazine reported, citing two unnamed sources. Bahar said he only advised on the video and no WeWork resources were used. Kushner used the video during the Bahrain conference which launched the economic portion of the Trump administration’s peace plan.
Neumann also told one investor that he’d convinced Rahm Emanuel to run for president in 2020 on the “WeWork Agenda.” He told colleagues that he was saving the women of Saudi Arabia by working with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to offer women coding classes, the magazine reported. In another meeting, Neumann said three people were going to save the world: bin Salman, Jared Kushner, and Neumann, according to the report. This was before the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Neumann in a meeting with George W. Bush’s former national security adviser Stephen Hadley said that the bin Salman mess could be sorted out if bin Salman had the right mentor. He said that mentor was himself.
The Neumanns were heavily involved in the Kabbalah movement and made the mystical tradition part of the office culture, including scheduling meetings on the 18th day of the month, seen as a more auspicious time. His mother told an Israeli station last month that Neumann had joined the Chabad movement and become religious.