Changes at WeWork lead this week’s edition of Asia Real Estate People in the News, with the financially challenged co-working giant already seeing changes in its leadership in the region following its failed IPO attempt.
Reports surfaced late last week that the New York-based firm will be laying off 2,000 of its approximately 16,000 staff globally, as it shifts from fast growth to cost cutting.
Aside from the shared office drama, a mainland developer has named a new director of overseas finance and private equity firms Lone Star and Starwood Capital have named new executives for their China operations.
Kazuyuki Sasaki has been named CEO of WeWork Japan, taking over the top spot for the co-working giant just days after the company’s previous country head and Adam Neumann pal Chris Hill stepped down. Sasaki had served as Managing Director of WeWork Japan since April of this year, when he was promoted from Chief Financial Officer. Formerly CFO of GE Japan, Sasaki’s finance training should leave him well-positioned for WeWork’s current focus on cost-cutting in the wake of its failed IPO.
Sean Lim has joined Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group as Vice President of the company’s office real estate division for China. Lim is joining CP, which is estimated to be the largest foreign investor in China, from WeWork where he had served as the head of the company’s Enterprise Business Development unit for China after joining the US firm through its 2018 acquisition of Shanghai-based Naked Hub. After being headhunted for the new role with CP, Lim who also has previous experience with CBRE and Ascendas, was reportedly headhunted for the new role, where he will be working directly with the Cheavaranont family which controls the Bangkok-based conglomerate on new initiatives for the company’s mainland office assets.
Eric Ng has joined Hong Kong-listed developer CIFI Holdings as the company’s Director of Overseas Investment and Financing, according to an update to the executive’s LinkedIn profile. Ng, who will continue to be based in Hong Kong, joins CIFI from Country Garden Properties (Hong Kong), where he had served just over a year and a half as the Investment and Corporate Finance Director. The graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong also has previous experience with mainland SOE China Resources and accounting firm KPMG.
Mu Li is now a member of the team at Hudson Advisors in Shanghai, after joining the asset management affiliate of US private equity real estate firm Lone Star last month as an Associate. Li climbs aboard at Hudson after just over two years with Goldman Sachs’ China team, where he was part of the Investment Banking Division. The graduate of Columbia University Business School and China’s Tsinghua University also has experience with Schneider Electric.
Jimmy (Minwoo) Lee has signed up with South Korean property management company Genstar as a Senior Manager, based in Seoul. Lee, who has more than 12 years experience in Korea’s real estate industry, joins Genstar from real estate investment specialist Kolon LSI, where he had served for more than two years as a Manager. The graduate of Konkuk University also has previous experience with Pacific Asset Management, Intrus Investment Management and CBRE.
Sean Wu has joined Starwood Capital Group in Hong Kong where he now serves as an Associate with the private equity firm’s Asia Acquisitions unit. Wu was welcomed onto the team at Barry Sternlicht’s Miami-based firm after just over one year as a Vice President with Jinghui Capital Ltd in Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong graduate also has prior experience with Tianli Financial Holdings and mainland commercial bank ICBC.
If you know of other Asia real estate professionals changing their jobs, getting promoted or just doing something exciting, please contact us here at Mingtiandi.