Endeavor defied its critics and the odds by successfully pulling off a public offering in April, but the company — a hodgepodge of live-events brands and talent representation — is facing major obstacles navigating the global pandemic and encountering resentment among select players who feel left out in the cold.
While Endeavor’s stock has overperformed for the two quarters of its publicly traded existence, some of the roughly 300 employees with equity in the company are furious over their diluted options and the new barriers to monetizing their stakes that have been put in place, three insiders familiar with the fraught situation tell Variety.
A New York Post report from late August described some stakeholders — particularly the hard-charging dealmakers at Endeavor’s talent agency WME — as “fuming” when they were informed this spring that their stock rewards were reduced and tacked with longer vesting schedules. Daggers are pointed at CEO Ari Emanuel and other longtime players at the company, two sources say. The beef is largely among the most successful at the company who are not a part of that legacy group who have built up the firm over two decades, other insiders say.