Not many bosses would fire an employee over a video call. Even fewer would be ruthless enough to fire 900 staffers in one go.
But that’s exactly what Better.com CEO Vishal Garg has done, and made news for it too.
In a brutal three-minute Zoom call on Wednesday, the Indian-American CEO told 900 employees that “this isn’t news that you’re going to want to hear…”
“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, 43, told those on the other end, according to media reports.
He explained that market efficiency, performance and productivity were the reasons behind the mass lay-off.
— Bucky with the Good Arm (@benjancewicz) December 3, 2021
The fired staffers made up about 9 per cent of the workforce and were the entire diversity, equity and inclusion team at Better.com, a US-based mortgage company.
“This is the second time in my career I’m doing this and I do not do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time, I hope to be stronger,” Garg said.
One worker filmed the call and leaked it on social media, where Garg has drawn criticism for firing employees right before the holidays.
Vishal Garg: “I wish I didn’t have to lay off 900 of you over a zoom call but I’m gonna lay y’all off right before the holidays lmfaooo”pic.twitter.com/6bxPGTemEG
— litquidity (@litcapital) December 5, 2021
Those laid off get four weeks of severance, one month of full benefits, and two months of cover-up paid for by the company, said Garg, who founded Better.com in 2016.
The company has raised over $400 million in equity capital since its inception and was ranked No 1 on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List for 2021 and 2020 as well as on Fortune’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces in New York.