Office sharing startup WeWork paid 80% of April and May rent but wants to pay it all, CEO says

WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani told CNBC on Tuesday the company has paid its rent in over 80% of its locations in April and May, as the coronavirus outbreak swept the globe. 

“The remaining locations, we’re just in discussions with our landlords in a friendly way, and therefore we plan to make whole on our entire obligation,” Mathrani said on “Squawk Box.” ”I do believe in the trickle-down economy, if I stop paying my rents, the landlords can’t make their mortgage payments and then it’s a domino effect.” 

Mathrani, who became CEO in February, said WeWork has collected over 70% of rent from its tenants in April. “We are working with small, medium businesses in deferrals, freezing of rents and different aspects with them,” he said. 

WeWork had 739 locations across 140 cities and more than 662,000 total memberships as of the close of the fourth-quarter of 2019, according to its website

Mathrani said the company has spent millions of dollars on its existing office spaces in preparation for the new way of working brought about the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We spent the entire month of April spending tens of millions of dollars getting our spaces ready for when people can get back to work,” he said.