WeWork appoints Balder Tol as SEA head
By Digital News Asia May 11, 2021
- As first Australian hire, grew country’s membership to 12,000
- Company claims to have recorded close to 10% increase in the enterprise segment
SHARED workspace provider WeWork has announced the promotion of Balder Tol (pic) as the company’s general manager for Australia and Southeast Asia (SEA). The announcement also aligns with WeWork’s enterprise member growth in the region.
In a statement, WeWork said since its establishment in SEA four years ago, it has been a strategic partner to foreign and local enterprises in expanding and scaling their presence across the region.
To date, WeWork’s members in SEA are made up of more than 50% large enterprises, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to regional and local enterprises and conglomerates.
Tol is the company’s first Australian hire in 2016. WeWork claimed that his approach grew Australia’s WeWork membership to over 12,000 members across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Tol is said to have not only established WeWork Australia “as a reliable and trusted partner for enterprises”, but has also been at the forefront leading the return to office and economic recovery strategy for companies in Australia, it said.
In his new role, Tol will continue to be based in Sydney and oversee WeWork SEA (Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand), in addition to Australia. He will report to Samit Chopra, managing director, International (Strategy and Operations) based in Singapore.
“Balder is an inspiring and engaging leader, well-liked by his team, members and the industry and is a proven strategic partner to WeWork’s stakeholders.
“Given the dynamic and diverse nature of SEA, Balder is undoubtedly the best person to lead the region. I am confident and excited to see how he advances SEA and Australia, at a time when our value proposition is stronger than ever,” said Chopra (pic).
“This role could not have come at a more pivotal time. This year marks my fifth anniversary with WeWork and we are at an inflection point of innovation and growth.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the team and redefine the flexible workplace market as cities start to open and organisations start to plan their return to office strategies,” Tol said.
Prior to WeWork, Tol was general manager of Tank Stream Labs and a founding team member of Airbnb Australia. Tol holds a Masters in Management from the University of Sydney.
In a recent study conducted by WeWork, employees find office space so valuable that nearly two-thirds (64%) said they would be willing to pay for it out of their own pockets, WeWork claimed.
For WeWork, this is where a hybrid model comes in – where employees have the ability to work in different spaces, including corporate offices, co-working spaces, public spaces and from home.
Over the last year, WeWork began introducing hybrid concepts such as hub-and-spoke (satellite offices), de-densification (spaces with reduced office density to be scaled accordingly) and Collaboration Hub (a flexible, customizable workplace design enhancing teamwork and creativity).
According to WeWork, the company recorded close to 10% increase in the enterprise segment for WeWork SEA. Across the region, WeWork has tracked renewed and new commitments from companies such as Oppo, Thales, Payoneer, Affinidi, Indepay, and Katalon.
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