It seems like Better.com will be having a hard time attracting employees for quite a while. If you haven't already heard, the popular online mortgage originator company headed by CEO Vishal Garg, is in some hot water after a video surfaced on TikTok. Last week, Vishal Garg assembled over 900 employees on a Zoom call and delivered the words no employer wants to hear.
"If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off, your employment here is terminated effective immediately." - Better.com CEO, Vishal Garg
The reasons for the layoffs were due to market efficiency as well as employee performances and productivity. Supposedly, 250 of the laid-off employees were accused of “stealing” from the company by not being productive, working an average of 2 hours a day. What's most surprising about all of this is that the company isn't strapped on cash. The day before the layoffs, Better.com actually got an infusion of cash to the tune of $750 million from blank-check company Aurora Acquisition Corp. and SoftBank.
The bearer of bad news received tons of criticism over the past few days, and now has "stepped away" for the foreseeable future, admitting that he could've handled the situation better. Well no duh? Our friend, Zaid, nailed the situation perfectly.
Listen, layoffs are not an easy topic. I was laid off back in April of 2020 and I understand the hardships, frustrations, all of the emotions from both sides. However, the way Garg handled the situation was piss-poor. If you’re a CEO of a company and you’ve done such a horrible job that you need to lay off 15% of your staff, you’ve failed and should be part of the layoff.
As a leader, you need to claim the responsibility, not blame others. If these layoffs were performance based, then a prior conversation should've occurred. The fact that they received a massive influx of cash, they are described as a $7.7 billion dollar unicorn, the CEO has a net worth estimated at around $4 billion, collects a $400,000+ annual salary, and received a holiday bonus of $25 million last year doesn't make the situation better.
Honestly, he isn't reported to be a stand up guy, calling his workers dumb dolphins, an a embarrassment, and slow in the past, so karma does clearly come around. I hope those 900 employees find a better place to work a better CEO too. Shame on you, Vishal Garg.