Online mortgage company Better.com, and more specifically its CEO Vishal Garg, have been under intense scrutiny for the past week. At the beginning of the month last week, Garg brought 900 employees into a single Zoom call, and in a three-minute statement, informed them that they had all been fired. In a post on social network Blind, Garg then posted a tirade accusing the fired employees of “stealing” from the company by working fewer hours than they were paid for.
Not only do 900 employees make up about 9% of Better.com’s total work force, but many of the employees who were fired were actually top earners according to statements from the employees who remain. Unsurprisingly, slashing a large portion of the work force, and a successful part at that, has endeared Garg to neither the internet at large nor his employees, and they have not made that distaste secret. Multiple members of Better.com’s board have resigned from the company, including marketing, PR, and communications executives.
https://t.co/cxofmffylA CEO Vishal Garg steps back as employees detail how he ‘led by fear’ https://t.co/rC1pEuyIeD by @bayareawriter
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 10, 2021
Presumably in an effort to enact damage control, Better.com’s executive board has decided to place Garg on leave effective immediately for an indeterminate period. “We have much work to do and we hope that everyone can refocus on our customers and support each other to continue to build a great company and a company we can all be proud of,” reads the announcement memo obtained by Vice, penned by Paula Tuffin, Better.com’s chief compliance officer and general counsel.
While Garg is away, the company will be managed by Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ryan.