(Reuters) – Softbank (9984.T)-backed office sharing firm WeWork named real estate industry veteran Sandeep Mathrani as its new chief executive on Saturday.

Mathrani will join the company as the CEO from Feb. 18, 2020 and will report to Marcelo Claure, who will remain as executive chairman, the company said in a statement.

Mathrani succeeds co-CEOs Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, WeWork said.

Both Gunningham and Minson will remain with the company at least through a transition period to ensure a smooth onboarding process, the company said.

The CEO search was handled by the WeWork board without an external executive search firm, the sources said, adding that a couple of search firms were initially considered.

WeWork did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mathrani will bring much-needed real estate experience to WeWork. He is the former chief executive of Brookfield Properties’ retail group, and prior to that he was an executive at real estate firms including Vornado Realty Trust.

Brookfield declined to comment. The company announced in early December that Mathrani would depart Brookfield and that his last day of work would be Jan. 31.

WeWork began its search for a new CEO in November following the departure of co-founder Adam Neumann, who drew criticism for his erratic management style.

WeWork’s IPO was shelved last year and the company recorded a steep plunge in valuation, to less than $8 billion from $47 billion.

The news about Mathrani was reported earlier on Saturday by The Wall Street Journal.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Additional reporting by Herbert Lash in New York and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Daniel Wallis


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