- According to Business Insider, Convene, Brookfield's shared space company, employed 421 people on Monday.
- This comes days after Convene fired 140 employees. The workers on leave represent more than half of the remaining workers.
- A spokesman confirmed that by August or by the end of the holiday, whichever comes first, Convene will pay both the usual portion and the proportion of employees on leave in their health insurance plans.
- Four months ago, Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti told Business Insider that he intended to add 500 employees to the company's 900 employees by 2020.
- Convene had raised $ 260 million in funding, including a summer $ 152 million Series D round with investors like wealth management giant Brookfield and the family office of private equity magnate Leon Black.
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Business Insider found Convene, the event and coworking company supported by Brookfield, on 421 employees on Monday. This comes days after the company fired nearly 150 employees.
Those on leave are more than half of the remaining Convene employees after layoffs.
The New York-based company has 30 locations in the United States and London, about half of which are in New York. Convene had around 900 employees at the end of 2019, CEO Ryan Simonetti told Business Insider in an interview in November. At the time, he planned to hire 400 to 500 new employees this year to keep pace with the company's expansion.
A company spokesman confirmed late Tuesday that by August or by the end of the holiday, whichever comes first, the company will pay both its employees' usual part and days off until August. Employees on leave keep their seniority and receive their available PTO weekly.
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Last Wednesday, the day before the layoffs, Simonetti tweeted that he would donate 100% of his compensation and that the manager would cut salaries to create an employee benefit fund. Workers on leave may be eligible for a scholarship from the fund and unemployment benefits.
"The coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on the hospitality, meeting and event industries, and Convene was not immune to it," Simonetti said in a statement to Business Insider after the initial release notice.
"After we closed all of our locations, we also had to say goodbye to almost 20% of our team across the company and take leave of absence while ensuring that they receive long-term compensation and health insurance. This is incredibly difficult for us, but we are taking all possible measures to do the right thing for our employees by offering both severance and health insurance while ensuring that we keep our business going in the long term, "he added in this previous statement.
Unlike WeWork, Convene has focused more on event space than office space and offers high quality amenities and services. When companies cancel meetings and conferences, their rooms may remain empty for some time. The company raised $ 260 million in funding, including a summer $ 152 million Series D round with investors such as wealth management giant Brookfield and the family office of private equity magnate Leon Black.
Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that WeWork could have another round of layoffs that affected 1,000 employees. The venture-backed companies have not weathered an economic downturn, and as their tenants close offices in most major cities due to the pandemic, they may have difficulty keeping paying customers.
The only listed company in the industry, the Swiss IWG, saw this Share price fell 66% last month.
There were also layoffs at venture-funded flex space companies in the hospitality industry. Sonder dismissed and released more than 400 employees on Tuesday, while Zeus Living Living fired almost 80 employees. This happens after Lyric cut 20% of its employees in early March. according to a report from The Real Deal.
Additional reporting from Meghan Morris.