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GreekReporter.comBusinessBetter.com CEO Fires 900 Employees in a Single Zoom Meeting

Better.com CEO Fires 900 Employees in a Single Zoom Meeting

Better.com
Better.com CEO Vishal Garg told employees over Zoom that the company was laying off 15% of its workers. Credit: RealtorJairo/Twitter

Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, an online mortgage platform, fired 900 of his employees in a single Zoom meeting on December 1.

Garg, who appeared on video seated at a desk, addressed the meeting members collectively, telling them that if they were in the meeting they were part of a layoff event affecting 15% of the company:

“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 said. The executive also said he does “not want to do this.”

“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 said at the beginning of the meeting.

Garg claimed that the mass firings were a consequence of the market and that they were necessary for the company’s survival.

Forbes reported earlier this week that the company fired the employees after it had received a $750 million cash infusion and was worth an estimated $7 billion.

Kevin Ryan, Better’s CFO, told Forbes that “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.”

Better.com follows in Uber’s footsteps

Better is not the first company to hold mass-firings via video. Popular ride-share app Uber laid off 3,500 employees at the start of the pandemic in May 2020. The company let go of 14% of its workforce through a Zoom call.

Ruffin Chevaleau, who leads Uber’s customer service office, addressed the workers via video. Chevaleau told them that Uber had suffered greatly from the pandemic and that their business had fallen by 50%.

“With trip volume down, the difficult and unfortunate reality is there is not enough work for many front-line customer support employees,” Chevaleau said.

She added, “As a result, we are eliminating 3,500 front-line customer support roles. Your role is impacted and today will be your last working day with Uber.” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi commented on the layoffs, saying that “We’re focused on navigating through this crisis that absolutely leaves us in a stronger position, as the world starts to recover.”

Despite the “new normal” of mass layoffs, Garg’s was notable for his stressed, uncomfortable tone, and his decision as the CEO to address the workers through a one-way message. Garg is well known for his divisive personality. Forbes had previously run a cover story on the executive last year for their November 2020 issue, in which they described his “brash” communication style and multiple lawsuits.

 

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