A CEO who fired almost a tenth of his work force over Zoom just weeks before Christmas neglected to mention that his company had received $750 million in investments only a week earlier.
Vishal Garg, the controversial boss of mortgage start-up Better.com, told 900 people they were being laid off in a surprise Zoom call that went viral as employees took to social media to express their shock and outrage.
‘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,’ Garg told the workers, claiming that the decision had been made because the ‘market has changed’, citing the needs for cuts to be made.
Yet what he failed to tell the staff was that just a week prior, Better.com had received $750 million in investments as it prepared to go public, with CNN reporting that the company is currently valued at over $1 billion dollars.
The company’s CFO Kevin Ryan also declined to mention the recent injection of funds in a statement explaining the decision, saying, ‘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 offence going into a radically evolving homeownership market.’
In a blog post following backlash over the call, Garg defended his actions by attacking his employees, writing ‘you guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system? They were stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills. Get educated.’
The CEO has faced controversy over his approach towards staff in the past, with Forbes reporting last year that Garg sent an email to staff in which he labelled them ‘a bunch of dumb dolphins’, and accused them of ’embarrassing’ him by being ‘too damn slow’.
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