By Tamsin Brown • 06 December 2021 • 19:18
The CEO of Better.com, an online mortgage lender, has fired 900 employees over Zoom just before Christmas.
Last Wednesday, December 1, the CEO of Better.com, Vishal Garg, announced in a web seminar that he would be getting rid of approximately 15% of the company workforce. By doing so, he abruptly informed the more than 900 employees in the call that they would be fired right before the Christmas holidays.
“If you are on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” said Garg in the Zoom call, “and your employment here is terminated, effective immediately”.
He then told the employees of the mortgage lending company that they would receive an email from Human Resources with details regarding benefits and severance pay.
“Having to conduct layoffs is gut wrenching, especially this time of year,” said the company’s finance director Kevin Ryan, “however, a fortress balance sheet and a reduced and focused workforce together set us up to play offense going into a radically evolving homeownership market”.
Garg cited efficiency, performance and market productivity as the reasons behind his decision. Garg also reportedly accused the employees of “stealing” from colleagues and clients by being unproductive and working only two hours a day.
“This is the second time in my career I’m doing this and I do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried,” said Garg in the Zoom call, which was short and emotionless.
Those fired included the team for diversity, equality and inclusion.
The mortgage loan company, backed by Softbank, announced in May that they were going to be listed on the stock market through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and last week they received 750 million dollars in cash as part of the deal. The company is set to reach more than a billion dollars in their bank account.
Garg has caused controversy before, when an email sent to employees went public: “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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