Indian American CEO, who fired 900 employees over Zoom, apologizes after huge backlash

Vishal Garg, founder and CEO of Better.com
Vishal Garg, founder and CEO of Better.com; photo credit: Better.com

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg says he “failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected.”

The CEO of Better.com, who fired 900 employees of the company over a Zoom meeting last week, has apologized for the “blundered execution.”

Vishal Garg, who was born in India and moved to the United States at the age of 7, founded the mortgage company in 2015.

“If you’re on this call you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Garg said in the call last week. “Your employment here is terminated. Effective immediately.”

Garg said, “This isn’t news that you’re 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 that I’m doing this and I do not want to do this. The last time I did it I cried. This time I hope to be stronger. But we are laying off about 15% of the company for [a number of] reasons: the market, efficiency and performances and productivity.”

But Garg was widely criticized for the callous manner in which the employees were terminated, especially just days before the Christmas.

“Shame on Vishal Garg of Better,” wrote a Twitter user, Brijraj Agarwal. “My friends can’t speak out, but I can. Only a pathetic leader can lay off 900 employees over a 3min zoom call with no explanation or a proper farewell. This is why most startups will fail. Once the valuation frenzy fizzles out, you’ll all eat dirt.”

Another user who goes by the handle @AdtechGod tweeted: “900 at Better.com let go on a webinar. Devices shut off immediately after. 3 minute call. No remorse. What a terrible way to do things. CEO Vishal Garg’s “dumb dolphins” (as he refers to them) now unemployed for the holiday season. Disgusting tbh”

According to BBC, Better.com received $750 million in investment from the Japanese Softbank just last week.

On Tuesday, Garg wrote in a letter posted on the company’s website, apologized for the way he handled the layoff.

He wrote: “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.”

Garg said he realized that “the way” he “communicated this news made a difficult situation worse.”

He added, “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.”

One Comment

  1. Ghandi Bapoo

    Why don’t they go after Softbank’s soft Japanese ass for funding this crappy outfit in the first place?? Oh wait, the Japs are not “dumb dolphins” after all!! They got lots of dollars, so deshis will happily lick their boots, kiss their asses, even wipe their spit off the floor! Deshis “world-phamous” for stooping to lowest lows.

    HUM SAB MAADARCHOD HAI BHAI!!!

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