Better CEO Apologizes After Backlash From Mass Firing On Zoom Of 900 Employees

Better CEO Apologizes After Backlash From Mass Firing On Zoom Of 900 Employees

The chief executive of the online mortgage lender Better issued an apology following the backlash created by his firing of 900 workers, approximately 9% of the company's workforce, during a hostile 3-minute call on the Zoom ZM platform.

What Happened: Vishal Garg, Better’s CEO, spoke with those designated for termination last Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday break, claiming it was a “really, really challenging decision to make” while adding it was “the second time in my career I’m doing this and I do not want to do this — the last time I did it, I cried.”

Garg did not shed tears in the video, announcing his decision in an emotionless monotone voice.

“If you are on this call,” Garg said, “you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effectively immediately.”

What Happened Next: The video of Garg’s firing was leaked to YouTube and TikTok, with the chief executive quickly gaining the reputation as the ultimate boss from hell.

The New York Post reported that Garg issued an apology to his remaining workforce via an internal memo.

“I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better,” he wrote.

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

“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.”

Garg’s video created a public relations nightmare for Better, which was compounded by having the three corporate communications leaders — head of marketing Melanie Hahn, head of public relations Tanya Hayre Gillogley and vice president of communications Patrick Lenihan — resigning in the wake of the video being leaked.

Also Happening: One day before Garg’s Zoom call, Better opted to delay its decision to go public via a merger with the special purpose acquisition company Aurora Acquisition Corp. AURC.

According to Bloomberg report sourced from unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter,” the company sought the delay because it wanted to obtain new regulatory approval of the revised terms of the merger, which was previously slated for the fourth quarter.

The revised terms included $750 million of bridge financing that Better would receive immediately and an additional $750 million of the equity placement that will be replaced by a more structured convertible note.

The revised terms were agreed upon one day before Garg’s mass firing of his employees.

Photo: Screen shot of the leaked video of Vishal Garg's mass firing.

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