Better.com’s Vishal Garg resumes work a month after firing 900 staff on a Zoom call

Chief executive took a month-long break to reflect on leadership and work with an executive coach, company says

A video of Vishal Garg firing 900 employees on a Zoom call on December 1 was uploaded on YouTube. Photo: better.com

Vishal Garg, the chief executive of US-based digital mortgage lender Better.com, who laid off about 15 per cent of the company’s workforce on a Zoom call in December, has resumed full-time work after taking a month off.

“As you know, Better’s CEO Vishal Garg has been taking a break from his full-time duties to reflect on his leadership, reconnect with the values that make Better great and work closely with an executive coach,” the company’s board told staff in an internal memo on Tuesday, according to The Daily Beast.

“We are confident in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the type of leadership, focus and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time.”

Quote
We are confident in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the type of leadership, focus and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time
Better.com board

Mr Garg has been on leave since December 10 after a video of him firing 900 employees on a Zoom call on December 1 was uploaded on YouTube.

“If you are on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Mr Garg said. “Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”

Mr Garg later apologised to the company’s employees in a letter, where he said he failed to show the required respect and appreciation for those who were affected.

The SoftBank-backed mortgage lending start-up engaged an independent third party to “do a leadership and cultural assessment”.

The company conducted a “thorough, independent” review and will be expanding its leadership with a new board chairman, a president and a chief human resources officer, the New York Times reported, citing the internal memo.

Better will also be “implementing a company-wide training programme on ensuring a respectful workplace”, the memo added.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 11:37 AM
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