All of us have received some shocking news or the other via Zoom calls or mails during work-from-home. Nothing comes close to what the founder and CEO of the US-based online homeownership company Better.com Vishal Garg had to tell his employees. Garg laid off 900 employees in a Zoom call right before the holidays season in the United States and ahead of the company’s market debut.
The Better.com boss started his address by telling his employees that he doesn’t have great news to give to them, adding the market has changed and that companies need to work accordingly.
“This isn’t the news that you’re going to want to hear but ultimately it is 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 want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried,” Garg says in this now-viral snippet from the Zoom call.
He adds, “We are going to be laying off ~15 per cent of the company for a number of reasons – the 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.”
In a pretty cold tone, Garg tells the employees that they will be getting an email from the company’s HR department detailing severance and benefits on leaving for all US employees. He added that employees will get 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.
The entrepreneur was notably profiled by the acclaimed business magazine Forbes in November last year. “In many ways, Garg, 42, is the archetypal tech CEO: brilliant, brash and mercurial. Though his outbursts have caused headaches for some staffers, and forced others to quit – according to interviews with 19 current and former employees – such concerns have been overshadowed by Garg’s success in building Better, a venture-backed online mortgage originator that just secured a $4 billion valuation,” Garg’s profile on Forbes read. This profile also cited an email wherein Garg can be seen calling his employees “dumb dolphins” who “get caught in nets and eaten by sharks.”
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