“WeCrashed,” tells the incredible story of WeWork, a shared workspace startup, which quickly rose to be one of the most valuable in the world, only to crash just before it was due for its much-anticipated IPO. This story is about the company and Adam Neumann, its charismatic co-founder. Miguel McKelvey, however, is the quieter, less well-known co-founder of the startup’s rapid growth.
The unique approach of the co-founders is one of the fascinating aspects of Apple TV+. Both are crucial to the company’s rapid growth. WeCrashed got you interested in learning more about Miguel McKelvey.
Miguel McKelvey: Who are you?
Miguel McKelvey, the mild-mannered architect, offers Adam Neumann space at his office. This is the beginning of what ultimately led to them starting GreenDesk, a shared workspace that eventually led to the creation of WeWork. We are able to learn more about Miguel McKelvey from the show’s many details.
McKelvey was born in 1974. He was one of six children from a five-mother collective in Eugene, Oregon. He attended South Eugene High School. After two years at Colorado College, McKelvey moved to Oregon to study architecture. McKelvey, who apparently moved to Tokyo on a tight budget in 1998, soon found a way to connect with the local community. His experience in Tokyo inspired him to create his first company, English baby, with John Hayden. — An English-language instruction and social networking site that connects students.
McKelvey moved to New York City in order to return to architecture. He began work with Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture which was responsible for all American Apparel projects. This fact was briefly mentioned on the show. Later, he claimed that his experience working in a startup led him to create WeWork.
Neumann and McKelvey met at a party while they were working in the same office building. They founded GreenDesk in 2008 after convincing the landlord that they could sub-lease small portions of an unused building. The show’s portrayal of McKelvey working feverishly throughout the night may be a hint at the truth. According to reports, McKelvey was the true architect who reportedly created the company’s logo, name, and website in one night.
WeWork was founded in 2010 with its first Manhattan location. McKelvey was responsible for the design and architecture of the shared workspaces. Neumann pitched the company and raised billions of dollars to fund its rapid expansion. McKelvey was appointed Chief Culture Officer of the company in 2017. This title he held until he left the company, which was 2020. Neumann had already left the company the year before. Fast Company also named him one of the most creative people in 2019. Forbes estimated his net worth at $900million in November 2018, down from $2.9 billion prior to the SoftBank bailout.
Where is Miguel McKelvey now?
McKelvey married Hiyam Khalifa in 2017 after being together for 11 years. They were both former investment bankers. After eleven years of marriage, McKelvey was divorced from Hiyam Khalifa, a former investment banker. In November 2021, McKelvey founded Known, which is aimed at empowering communities.
Although not much information is available about McKelvey’s current family and romantic life, it is believed that McKelvey is currently residing in New York City with Known Holdings. “A coalition of top financial professionals, seasoned investors, and deeply experienced operators” formed the company. Their goal is to shift ownership and distribute wealth through their “Black, Indigenous, Asian American, and Latinx-led growth platforms.”