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CEO Of Better.com Sends Odd Memo After Firing 900 Employees Over Zoom & Accusing Them Of Stealing

Photo: LinkedIn 
Vishal Garg

Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com fired 15% of the company’s employees over a Zoom call just before the holiday season.

Garg laid off his employees over a simple Zoom call that barely lasted 3 minutes.

Amid the vitriol Garg has faced online, Business Insider obtained a memo he allegedly sent to his employees after the layoffs.

Vishal Garg wrote an email apologizing for the Better.com layoffs.

"I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for individuals who are affected and for their contributions to Better," he wrote in part.

"I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you."

Who is Vishal Garg?

Garg is the founder and current CEO of Better.com, an online mortgage company for homeowners based in New York. 

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However, his career credibility has been called into question after the outrageous mass lay-off. 

900 Better.com employees lost their jobs. 

Garg stated the reason for firing the employees was market productivity. This also wasn’t the first he had done something like this.

“This isn’t news you are going to want to hear. But ultimately, it was my decision and I wanted you to hear it from me. It’s been a really, really challenging decision to make. This is the second time in my career I’m doing this and I do not, do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger.” 

He announced on the call that all the employees being laid off would receive benefits and severance pay for 3 months. The online call even went viral on social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok and received much criticism.

   

   

Garg later accused the employees of theft.

Garg then put the employees in a bad light and relayed to Better’s customers that they had been stealing from them. Garg wrote in a blog post:

"You guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking in 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." 

This also wasn’t the first time Garg had been unfair with his employees. This is what he wrote in an email to his employees a while ago, “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”

Better.com was planning to go public sometime in December.

Better had been doing quite well despite the pandemic and had hired around 2,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, Garg received much hate for the unreasonable layoff but he received more anger after people found out the alleged real reason people were laid off.

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Better had shared back in May that they were planning to go public and recently received a $750 million cash infusion from its investors. One of the conditions for this expansion was to make some cost-cutting changes to the company which may have been the reason for the mass layoff.

   

   

Vishal Garg has been accused of fraud in the past.

Garg is involved in multiple ongoing lawsuits, one of them being with PIMCO. They claimed that the money owed to investors had been siphoned off by the companies that were handled by Garg.

Another previous lawsuit was with Goldman Sachs, investors in Better. However, they dropped all allegations without commenting further.

In 2000, Garg started a private student loan company with a friend, Raza Khan. The company was quite successful and was later bought by Bank of America. 

However, after suffering through bankruptcy, the two started another business. But that didn't last long either as the relationship between the two friends was ruined. 

Khan claimed that Garg hadn’t been filing taxes for their company and had embezzled funds from the company. He even filed a lawsuit against Garg. 

Khan commented about his former friend, “I think Vishal, [like] a lot of entrepreneurs out there, [is] so desirous of recognition. I don’t think that he is someone who has come to terms with what he’s done.”

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.

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