CEO of the US-based homeownership company Better.com Vishal Garg has apologized for his manner of handling layoffs after a video of him firing 900 people on a Zoom call went viral. After intense social media criticism, Garg said in a letter that he “blundered the execution” of telling his employees about the layoffs.
“I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better. I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you,” Garg wrote in this letter. “I realize that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse,” Garg further said in this letter.
He cited market, efficiency, performance and productivity as the reasons behind the decision to layoff his employees. The Better.com CEO says in this Zoom call, “We are going to lay off ~15 percent of the company for a number of reasons – market, efficiency, performances and productivity. 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 is also seen telling his employees that they will get an email from the company’s HR department detailing the severance and benefits that employees are entitled to on leaving. He noted that employees will be entitled to 4 weeks of severance, 1 month of full benefits and two months of coverup, the premium for which will be paid for by the company.
Meanwhile, the company said in May this year that it would go public via a merger with Aurora Acquisition Corp in a deal that valued Better.com at $7.7 billion. The terms of the merger were amended to provide Better.com with half of the $1.5 billion committed by SoftBank immediately instead of waiting till the deal close.
(With agency inputs)
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