The CEO of mortgage company Better.com invited more than 900 employees to a Zoom call to inform them that they were all being fired before Christmas. Vishal Garg told listening employees that if they were on the call then they were “part of the unlucky group” and included in the 9% of its workforce which the company is terminating in an attempt to cut costs and increase efficiency. “The market has changed” Garg explained.
CEO fires 900 employees over Zoom call
Garg told employees that the news was difficult to deliver and that he would try not to cry. He appears to have succeeded with that goal anyway.
The CEO seemed to be largely unbothered through the brief call as he informed his shocked employees that their employment had been terminated, effective immediately.
Garg has a history of being somewhat abrasive with employees, once telling staff in an email that they were being too slow and adding “You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS.”Ber
Efficiency, he stressed, is the reason for the mass firing. The company apparently felt that the terminated employees were not contributing enough to justify paying them in the current market.
Employees were told that they would be receiving an email regarding benefits and severance from the company. CFO Kevin Ryan later stated that laying off employees at this time of year is “gut wrenching.”
If Vishal Garg is sounding like a somewhat brutal boss then it should be noted that he isn’t all bad; included in the mass firing was the entirety of the “diversity, equity and inclusion” recruiting team.
“Rapidly evolving” market
Better.com claims that the layoffs were needed to prepare the company for a “rapidly evolving home ownership market” which will require a smaller and more efficient workforce.
The company is valued at about $7 billion according to the Sacramento Bee and operates offices in three states.
Regardless of the specific motives, CEO Garg is evidently very eager to cut down drastically on the number of employees he has to pay in this economy.
The White House has bragged about job growth in recent months but such a large scale firing demonstrates how tenuous the situation is for many Americans who are currently employed.
Now another 900 people will be unemployed with the holidays approaching. More people will be competing for fewer jobs under employers who, like Garg, may not feel any pressing need to have so many employees.
The CEO may regret having to fire so many employees but that won’t be much consolation for the terminated individuals themselves now that Christmas is approaching and they’ve found themselves jobless.