The Week in Tech: Google’s Quantum Leap

The Intelligence Committee’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, better known as SCIF, is supposed to be one of the last secure enclaves on Capitol Hill. By taking cellphones in, the Republicans might have inadvertently taken foreign adversaries in with them, breaking longstanding rules set by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

It is difficult to tell if there were lasting security implications. Uncovering nation-state surveillance operations can take months, often years. And the breach may not be deemed criminal. But one possible punishment is that the 13 Republicans who flouted O.D.N.I. rules may be barred from entering SCIF.

It’s not usually easy to persuade people to pay you for having driven a company into the ground. But that seems to be what Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork, did.

As our colleagues Peter Eavis, Michael J. de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin explained, Mr. Neumann’s hypergrowth strategy for his real-estate-company-in-tech-clothing proved to be its ruin, and left it scrambling for a lifeline.

Fortunately for WeWork, one came this past week from SoftBank in the form of a $1.5 billion investment, a $5 billion loan and a $3 billion buyout of shares from other investors. The takeover reportedly valued WeWork at $7 billion, down from the $47 billion that SoftBank reckoned it was worth in January.

That is crazy. Especially given that SoftBank had already invested over $10.5 billion in the company, which means WeWork has to be valued at over $15 billion again for this not to have been a huge mistake. No surprise, then, that SoftBank is reportedly hurrying to cut as many as 4,000 of the 14,000 workers at WeWork and shut down unprofitable properties to turn things around.

But that’s not the craziest part. The craziest part is that, as part of the deal, Mr. Neumann can sell up to $1 billion of his shares to SoftBank, and will be hired as a consultant to the Japanese company for four years, for which he will receive $185 million. (He’ll have to give up special shares that have 10 votes each, but, whatever, he’s rich.)

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