Technology — Verizon
CEO fires 900 employees via Zoom call
Approximately 900 employees of digital mortgage company Better.com learned in a three-minute Zoom call that they have been laid off, NBC News reported on Monday.
“I come to you with not great news,” Better.com CEO Vishal Garg said at the beginning of the Wednesday meeting, portions of which were shared on TikTok.
“We are laying off about 15 percent of the company for a number of reasons — the market efficiency and performances, and productivity,” Garg continued.
“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” he said. “Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”
The CEO added the laid-off employees would receive about a month of pay and three months of benefits, according to NBC News.
“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,” Garg reportedly said. “Um, this time, I hope to be stronger.”
Better.com had plans of going public earlier this year, though an initial deal was delayed.
Garg, who founded the company in 2014, faced controversy last year after Forbes magazine obtained emails of him berating employees for poor work effort.
“You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks,” Garg said on the reported emails. “SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”
A day before the reported layoffs, the digital mortgage company received a $750 million cash infusion from its backers, according to a Fortune.com report.
A former Better employee told NBC News his company-issued computer went dark shortly after the Zoom call ended, adding he didn’t receive a call from human resources until hours later.
“I was sitting here thinking, ‘What the hell?'” the unidentified employee said.
“I thought I was safe. I had perfect reviews and thought I was an integral part of the team. It’s a bummer because I know I worked really hard to help build up that company and it looks like I just wasted my time.”