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Better.com boss apologises for firing 900 staff on Zoom call

·2 min read

The chief executive of a US mortgage company who fired 900 employees on a Zoom call has apologised for failing to show “respect and appreciation” for the staff he sacked.

The founder and chief executive of better.com, Vishal Garg, expressed contrition in a message (pdf) posted on his company’s website.

Garg said he was sorry for the way “I handled the layoffs last week” after staff uproar over the video call last Wednesday.

The 43-year-old added: “I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better. I own the decision to do the layoffs but in communicating it I blundered the execution.

“In doing so, I embarrassed you. I realise that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse. I am deeply sorry and am committed to learning from this situation and doing more to be the leader that you expect me to be.”

According to a leaked recording of the firing call, Garg began with the message: “I come to you with not great news.” He then added: “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately.”

A now former employee on the call described the meeting as “three minutes tops”, in an interview with the Daily Beast. “They dumped us like trash. We were there since the beginning and worked hard for the company and for our roles,” another said.

Better.com, a mortgage lender startup recently valued at about $7bn (£5.3bn), has also been hit by resignations among its senior team since the call, according to reports on TechCrunch and the Insider.

Garg said in his apology he would “talk more” at an all-staff company meeting, adding that Better.com’s goals for 2022 were “the metrics that matter most”.

The message ended with: “I believe in you, I believe in Better, and I believe that working together we can make home ownership better together.”

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