Better.com CEO Vishal Garg laid off 15 per cent of employees over a Zoom call. (Image credit: Screengrab from YouTube video by Power of Banana)
Vishal Garg, the CEO of US-based digital-first homeownership company Better.com, reportedly laid off 900 of his employees in the US and in India on a Zoom call last week, giving them what could be the biggest shocker just ahead of the holiday season. A video of the Zoom call is being widely shared on the internet, with people slamming the founder-CEO for his actions.
"If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off," Garg told the staff during the Zoom video call on Wednesday, reported CNN Business. "Your employment here is terminated effective immediately."
15 per cent of employees of the New York-headquartered company have lost their jobs as part of the cost-cutting exercise. This is the second round of lay-offs Garg has undertaken, he said.
Garg, who founded Better.com in 2016, said all US-based employees laid off will get four weeks of severance, one month of full benefits and two months of cover-up for which we will pay the premium. He said they will get an e-mail from the HR detailing the benefits.
“I come to you with not great news. The market has changed and we have to move with it in order to survive, so that hopefully, we can thrive and hopefully, deliver on our mission,” he said as he began the grim announcement.
“This isn’t news you are going to want to hear. But ultimately, it was my decision and I wanted you to hear it from me. It’s been a really, really challenging decision to make. This is the second time in my career I’m doing this and I do not, do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger,” Garg said.
“But we are laying off about 15 per cent of the company… If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”
Vishal Garg is also the founding partner of One Zero Capital, an investment holding company. At 21, the New York University graduate dropped out of the investment banking analyst program at Morgan Stanley and started private student lender MyRichUncle. It went public in 2005 and was subsequently acquired by Merrill Lynch, which was then acquired by Bank of America.
Better.com has raised over $400 million in equity capital since inception. The company was ranked Number. 1 on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List for 2021 and 2020 as well as on Fortune’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces in New York.
The start-up has funded over $45 billion in home loans and provided over $25B in cumulative coverage.