Vishal Garg, the CEO of mortgage company Better.com, announced to more than 900 employees – about 9% of its workforce – during a Zoom – Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) – webinar that it would fire them before the upcoming holiday period. The reason behind the stunning message was “a change in the market.”
Better.com CEO Drops A Bomb
As reported by CNN Business, Garg dropped the bomb by saying: “If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off … Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”
Garg said the reason behind the firing was that “The market has changed, as you know, and we have to move with it to survive… It is not news that they want to hear, but ultimately it was my decision... It has been a very, very difficult decision to make.”
He later said staff would receive an official email from HR detailing benefits and severance.
In a statement to the media outlet, Better.com CFO Kevin Ryan said: “Having to conduct layoffs is gut-wrenching, especially this time of year… 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.”
More To It
Despite the reasons given by the Better.com CEO, the performance and productivity of his employees were also behind the decision. According to information revealed by Fortune, Garg said the staff was "stealing" from their colleagues and clients by 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,” he added on the brief Zoom call. All U.S. employees will receive four weeks of severance pay, as well as one month of full benefits and two months of COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) health benefits, covered by the company.
In the past, Forbes revealed an email he sent to staff, which prompted a wave of controversy and read: “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS... SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME,” he wrote.
Also, one of Garg's closest subordinates received massive perks but was later sent to administrative leave for bullying.