March 10, 2022

CEO Who Fired 900 Employees Via A Viral Zoom Call Last Year Has Had To Lay Off 3,000 More

Last year – Vishal Garg went from being the relatively unknown CEO of an online mortgage services company to being the boss who laid off 900 people on a Zoom call. The video and Garg went completely

Now, the company says it will lay off another 3,000 employees, a third of its workforce.

Sources familiar with internal happenings at the company told TechCrunch on Monday that the online mortgage lender was reported to be poised to lay off roughly 50% of its staff of about 8,000 this week.

According to a spokesperson, who confirmed the figure on the afternoon of March 8 to TechCrunch – the number ended up being “just over 3,000.”

It comes just months after Garg invited 900 workers to the Zoom call only to tell them: “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off.”

He then reportedly got rid of the company’s entire diversity, equity, and inclusion team, which deals with complaints about racism and sexism in the workplace. 

Garg then went on to criticize their work, accusing them of stealing time and missing deadlines. “You will be encouraged to fail once. But not allowed to fail twice. Not meeting deadlines will not be acceptable,” he said.  

But in a new set of layoffs – there’s no zoom call and instead, he’s reportedly written a letter to employees.

Interim CEO, Kevin Ryan said that disruptions in the residential real estate market–mainly fewer people buying houses due to rising interest rates–means the company “must take the difficult step of streamlining our operations further and reducing our workforce in both the U.S. and India in a substantial way.”

Kevin Ryan CFO Statement .pdf

“We have huge opportunities ahead to grow and to serve, but we must adjust to volatility in the interest rate environment and refinancing market to get there successfully” read Ryan’s letter.

“The decision is driven heavily by the headwinds affecting the residential real estate market; it is in no way a reflection on the personal performance of any departing team members, all of whom have contributed to Better’s success. While it does not make this any easier other companies across the mortgage industry (both old and new) have had to make similar decisions over the last 2 months.”

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.