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CEO Fires 900 Workers Via Zoom Call, Accuses Them of Stealing

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Business partners communicate via video using laptop | CEO Fires 900 Workers Via Zoom Call, Accuses Them of Stealing | featured

The CEO of online mortgage lender Better.com fired 900 employees via a Zoom call. In doing so, he said the workers stole from customers by slacking off during the pandemic.

RELATED: Biden Plans To Undo Trump’s Efforts to Free Mortgage Giants, Fire Director

CEO Vishal Garg Fires Hundreds of Workers Via Zoom Call

Young man having video call via computer in the home office | Zoom Call

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg remains defiant on his decision to fire hundreds of workers via a Zoom video conference.

A recording of the Zoom call made the rounds on the Internet, trending on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Video clips showed Garg’s legendary Zoom call. “This isn’t news that you’re going to want 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,” he said. Almost immediately, Garg clarified that he didn’t want to do this.

“This is 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 said.

When The Market Changed, Garg Had To Fire 900 Workers

The 43-year-old CEO gave changing market conditions as the reason for the firings. He said that Better.com needs to slim down in order to remain competitive in the evolving housing market.

Actually, the housing market does appear to cool down after a red-hot boom during the earlier days of the pandemic.

Despite the description of tough times ahead if they don’t adapt, Garg did not mention a $750 million cash infusion for Better.com from investors. 

Garg also admitted to being the author of an anonymous blog post accusing workers of slacking off. He posted unsigned articles on the professional network Blind.

“You guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system?” he said.

“They were stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills. Get educated,” he added. Later, the CEO confirmed to Fortune that he was the author of the searing post.

Details on Zoom Call Firing

During the Zoom call, Garg said that the company will provide four weeks of severance plus another one month of full benefits. It will also provide other coverage as part of the severance package.

Also during the call, Garg accused the workers of low productivity. Four weeks ago, the firm started reviewing employee productivity data.

The included listing missed telephone call rates and counting the number of inbound and outbound calls. Many employees also showed up late to customer meetings.“As we started to slow down our pace of hiring, we saw some alarming statistics, and a number of our customers were not getting the service that they deserved from our teammates,” he said.

Over the years, many industry veterans say that Garg built a reputation for extremely high expectations. He was also known for being petty over small, inconsequential infractions.

For example, Garg criticized office managers for not stocking the mini-fridge with Fiji and Perrier water. He also questioned the choice of food available in the office. “Why do we have biscotti here like this?” he once asked office managers. 

Better.com Thrived During The Pandemic

Another email was written by Garg also showed his impatience with employees. ‘You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME,” he wrote. 

Many homeowners flocked to Better.com during the pandemic. Homeowners began moving out from the cities and into greener lots.

This fueled a boom in the housing market as well as related lending companies such as Better.com. In fact, the company announced last May that it plans to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company. Better.com also announced an initial valuation of $7.7 billion.

Watch the CNBC Television video reporting that Better.com CEO fires more than 900 employees on Zoom call:

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What do you think about CEO Vishal Garg’s decision to fire 900 workers via a Zoom call?  Do you think he could have handled the situation better?

Tell us what you think of Garg and his management style. Share your comments below.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  • PD says:

    As a former Manager of a branch of a HUGE MultiMillion dollar company I know how hard it is to let go of ANYONE the sad part is if it is before the Holidays or any other time of the year there is NOT A GOOD TIME to layoff or fire anyone. It hurts it sucks but the decision has to be made and unfortunately it is made before the end of the year when all the new numbers come in. This is VERY SAD INDEED but if the employees knew how he was and what was expected they took their own destiny into their own hands. And time is money. And what the industry is finding is that 30% of people who work from home are THREE TIMES as likely to NOT work the hours they are required to or work as hard. I AM NOT SAYING “ALL PEOPLE” before I get FLAMED but 30% is A LOT of lost time and money in a VERY competitive market like real estate. I pray everyone can find a job quickly and make more money than ever before.

  • Chad says:

    I have been in management for many years…This guy is a dick! 900, come on!!! I can see some of them as slackers but economy was at a halt during covid 19 and not to many were doing nothing. So if any business was to be had, it just wasn’t there. Did this dick happen to look out his window during the pandemic? No traffic, stores closed as well as restaurants, anywhere and everywhere you went! Everyone was self isolating as many companies wanted there employees to do and demanded
    them to try to work at and from home, and now guys like this are crying because business was not as at should of been for his customer base and investor’s? Get real, this guy is a total idiot and did not get his expensive trip or bonuses…again what a real dick!

  • Cimbon says:

    For all the hard-working WFH workers, I am apologizing but you all know the one true fact–if you sign on to work, no matter what hour of the day you do–you need to perform the required work expectations. Just like all of us frustrated parents and caretakers of children felt about the way remote learning for the children turned into homeschooling everything, while some teachers claimed they spent 80% of their time preparing and grading the assignments that they posted once a week while falling to do any followup or have time to answer questions from both the students and the parents. Sorry I used that example of why this corporation did actual checking of time spent clocked in versus actual performance. Some WFH employees forgot that companies hire these efficiency experts who nitpick cost-saving tactics to eliminate labor costs. Never assume that your job is a guarantee.
    As for the way this CEO did the firing, that was totally wrong and totally unprofessional.

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