Better.com CEO apologizes after laying off 900 via Zoom call

The head of the mortgage company Better.com has apologized after telling 900 employees via a Zoom webinar that they were being laid off on the spot as the company was cutting 15% of its workforce.

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

Garg cited productivity as an issue for the firing. The CEO accused the employees of working only two hours a day and of “stealing” from co-workers and customers.

“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 on the call.

The employees were told they would be contacted by the company’s human resources department about a severance package.

After receiving massive backlash, Garg apologized in a written statement that was posted online. Garg said he “blundered the execution” and “failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation” for those affected by the layoff announcement.

According to an article in Forbes, Garg expressed dissatisfaction with his employees’ performance before sending out a mass email that read, “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS... SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”

The company has offices in three states, and according to the Sacramento Bee, Better.com last week received a $750 million cash infusion.

Forbes reports the value of the company at about $7 billion.