"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Better.com CEO Takes Time Off After Media Debacle

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Courtesy of daniel (Flickr CC0)

Better.com’s CEO Vishal Garg has announced he is taking time off after suddenly firing hundreds of employees. The company’s board of directors confirmed this in an email sent to employees on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021.

The week before, Garg brought 900 employees onto a zoom call and told them that they are “part of the unlucky group that is being laid off.” After the call, Garg accused some employees of stealing from the company. In addition, he claimed that some people were receiving pay for working eight or more hours while being unproductive most of the time.

Garg contended that “at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while closing in 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system.” Fortune magazine confirms that he made these statements “under an anonymous account on a professional network.

The Aftermath

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Courtesy of Laura 47 (Flickr CC0)

Garg told Fortune that he and his team observed data on employee productivity to back up his decision further. They looked at the telephone history of staff, including missed calls and the number of inbound and outbound calls they made.

The management team also considered how late employees were to meetings with clients. Some employees claim that Garg warned the rest of the company that productivity would be scrutinized more closely after the layoffs.

Better.com is an online mortgage lender founded by Garg in 2016. As stated in an email to employees, the board has hired a third-party company to evaluate the company. In addition, the firm will be conducting a “leadership and cultural assessment.” The board also described the events as “very regrettable.”

In all, Garg let go of about nine percent of staff. He has since apologized for the debacle but stands by his decision. However, he wishes the layoff could have gone differently, stating, “in communicating it, I blundered the execution.”

Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The Guardian: Better.com CEO to take time off after firing hundreds of employees over Zoom; by Lauren Aratani
The New York Times: Better.com’s C.E.O. is ‘taking time off’ after firing 900 workers over Zoom. By Derrick Bryson Taylor and Jenny Gross
Fortune: Better.com CEO blasts laid-off employees, accusing them of ‘stealing’ by working only two hours daily; by Jessica Mathews

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Laura 47’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Daniel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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