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Better.com's Vishal Garg plans next layoffs, over 3,000 employees in India, US: report

The latest round of layoffs have reportedly started, with an employee telling TechCrunch that affected workers have started receiving severance money through the company’s payroll app with no communication from Better.com executives.

March 09, 2022 / 09:16 AM IST
Better.com CEO Vishal Garg had apologised for his manner of handling layoffs last year. (Image credit: LinkedIn)

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg had apologised for his manner of handling layoffs last year. (Image credit: LinkedIn)

US mortgage company Better.com is planning its second round of mass layoffs this week, this time “just over 3,000” employees in the United States and India, virtually half of the company, TechCrunch reported, with a confirmation from the company spokesperson.

The reported plans of the mass firings come less than four months after the company’s founder and CEO, Vishal Garg, infamously let go of 900 workers over a Zoom call.

The latest round of layoffs have reportedly started, with an employee telling TechCrunch that affected workers have started receiving severance money through the company’s payroll app with no communication from Better.com executives.

The company “accidentally rolled out the severance payslips too early”, an employee who did not wish to be identified told the publication.

According to the report, the layoffs were initially planned for March but was moved to March 9 after the news leaked.

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For a few people who received the severance money, their cheques were reportedly deleted by the accounts when the company realised they accidentally sent them early.

Following the sending of severance money earlier by mistake, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kevin Ryan e-mailed employees saying the company “had to adjust to volatility in the interest rate environment and refinancing market”.

“Unfortunately, that means we must take the difficult step of streamlining our operations further and reducing our workforce in both the US and India in a substantial way,” he said in the e-mail which was accessed by TechCrunch.

Indian-origin Vishal Garg, who founded Better.com in 2016, had apologised for his manner of handling the December 2021 layoffs at the company after a video of him firing 900 people via a Zoom call went viral on social media. Kevin Ryan was managing the day-to-day decisions of the company and reporting to the board.

In January this year, the company’s board announced Garg’s return in an e-mail to employees. The CEO, who was widely criticised for the ‘Zoomgate’, had cited the market performance and productivity as reasons behind the decision to lay off employees in the US and India.

Read: Vishal Garg's Better.com was on hiring spree in India before Zoom layoffs: report

Following Garg’s return as CEO, Better.com were leaving the company in “droves”, TechCrunch had reported.

Better.com had said in May 2021 it would go public through a merger with blank-check firm Aurora Acquisition Corp, in a deal that valued it at $7.7 billion.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 9, 2022 08:52 am
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