14 Feb Front Page Execs: Sandeep Mathrani
On February 18th, 2020, Sandeep Mathrani begins his role as CEO of WeWork. He was previously the CEO at Brookfield Properties Retail, so his experience in the real estate industry has many hopeful that he can turn the struggling company around.
While it appears Mathrani has accounts on both Twitter and LinkedIn, both profiles have not been updated in a long time. He has not tweeted since 2014 and his LinkedIn profile makes no reference to WeWork. It is not often that we feature a CEO that has no social media presence, however Mathrani’s new position opens the door for him to implement an executive social media strategy.
In this article, instead of analyzing his accounts, we will instead look at the conversation surrounding him on social media. We will then discuss how these topics are relevant and can be shared by executives on their own personal social media accounts.
Sharing a Company’s Work Culture
— Lois Weiss (@LoisWeiss) February 2, 2020
One of the most challenging obstacles Mathrani will face is how to improve WeWork’s now infamously toxic company culture. For many prospective employees, work culture can be the deciding factor when accepting a job offer. In one of our previous articles, we showed how company culture can attract top talent, especially when examples of positive working environments are shared on social media.
Company culture is an important topic executives can discuss on social media, especially since these comments are coming from an individual who works there. Executives can share their personal insights on what they value about their business’ company culture, why it may be different from other companies, or how the company values its employees.
“He’s No Rock Star”
When compared to WeWork’s previous CEO, Adam Neumann, Mathrani does not have a “rock star” persona. On social media, Mathrani’s more mature approach to business management has made many hopeful about WeWork’s future. When executives are active on social media, their personality is showcased through their content and how they choose to engage with other users. For example, we have seen how executives like Dan Price can improve a brand’s image simply by providing engaging, valuable social media content.
An effective way for executives to showcase their more personal side is through social media. By posting meaningful content that is important to them and engaging with other social media users, executives are seen as more approachable and relatable. Every executive will have his or her own tone and personality they want to express.
#Sandeep may be a big name in #CRE but he's no rock star like #Neumann. Look for him to bring `adult supervision' to #Wework. "He's very humble+focused on the bottom line' #coworking #NYC https://t.co/C4i3Uuf5Ob
— David Levitt (@dmlevitt) February 10, 2020
Since Mathrani does not have a social media presence, he is starting from scratch in establishing his tone and content mix. Being more active on social media is one way users can learn more about him. A switch in CEO marks a significant change for any company, but for WeWork, establishing the new CEO’s presence is even more important, given its troubled past. With the media spotlight on the WeWork brand, the general public is naturally curious about Mathrani and the type of CEO he is.
For many CEOs and executives, social media is where they establish their identity. For example, Anand Mahindra‘s social media is very content driven and emphasizes a healthy mix of topics. On the other hand, executives like Gwénaëlle Avice-Huet focus solely on brand-related content with a more formal tone. For Mathrani, social media is where he can distinguish and define himself, not only from WeWork’s previous CEO, but from other executives as well.
Speaking about his upcoming role, Mathrani has stated, “I am honored to be joining WeWork at this pivotal time in its history. The company has redefined how people and companies approach work with an innovative platform, exceptionally talented team, and significant potential if we stick to our shared values and maintain our members-first focus.”
An important topic many executives discuss on social media is company values and what the brand stands for. We have seen in many of our other articles that when executives discuss social issues important to them, this translates to their brand as well. The identity of a high-level executive is closely tied to the identity of the company they represent.
Not the most creative question, but… "what added value does he see wework offering? Is the strategy and identity of wework significantly different than under @SandeepMathrani's predecessor?" I'm very curious about the identity of that company going forward.
— Kyle Chapman (@KChap2017) February 10, 2020
With a new CEO stepping in, now is the time for Mathrani to share what WeWork’s company values are. This could be reiterating some of the brand’s previous values or establishing new values. For many executives, social media is an effective way to share how their brand is different than its competitors. An example is T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who uses humor to shine the spotlight on his brand while calling out competitors.
Turning WeWork Around
With a successful background in real estate and a strong knowledge of property management, Mathrani seems like a natural fit for WeWork. One of the most common comments surrounding his appointment as WeWork’s CEO is how exactly he will turn the company around.
Many executives use social media as a way to speak about their company and its developments. One example is General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who discusses the company’s innovations within the automotive industry and the brand’s goal towards a zero-emissions future.
— Hayal Koc (@hayaldrm) February 10, 2020
Brand-related content often comes across as more authentic when it comes from an individual working within a company, rather than the brand’s social media account. Sharing content online is an effective way for executives to connect with their audience and stakeholders.
In Mathrani’s case, while he may not want to come out and share his exact strategy for turning WeWork around, he can use social media as a way to display his best leadership qualities. Executives often offer leadership advice on social media to aspiring entrepreneurs. This type of content gives people a glimpse of their leadership style and what characteristics they value most.
Conclusion: Using Social Media to be More Transparent
In analyzing the conversation surrounding Sandeep Mathrani, it is clear he is experienced in the real estate industry, but there is little information on what his plans for WeWork are. Other users on social media are already curious as to what Mathrani brings to the table, the type of leader he will be, and his future plans for the company.
When a social media strategy is executed effectively, brands benefit from having a high-level executive with a strong social media presence. Executives on social media have the unique opportunity of being able to influence the perception of their company through their own online content. By establishing themselves within their industry, executives become a valuable brand ambassador that other social media users want to engage with.
Is your marketing team ready to get your executive(s) on social media? Download our free guide on thought leadership to learn more about why having execs on social can help your brand achieve its business goals. In the meantime, why not follow Influential Executive on LinkedIn for interesting business stats, inspiring leadership quotes from today’s top executives, and more!
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