Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com who fired 900 employees over a Zoom call and disparaged them in later comments has apologised after a wave of criticism.
Mr Garg fired 900 employees during a Zoom call on Wednesday, just weeks before the Christmas holiday. He told employees they were part of an “unlucky group” who were going to be terminated “effective immediately.”
A recording of the Zoom call was leaked online, generating sharp criticism of the CEO that grew more intense after it was revealed he called the employees “lazy” and accused them of “stealing” in an anonymous forum post later that was later confirmed to be his writing.
“I want to apologize for the way I handled the layoffs last week. I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for individuals who are affected and for their contributions to Better,” he wrote. “I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you.”
He said that he realised “that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse,” and that he was “deeply sorry” and “committed to learning from the situation.”
“I couldn’t be more grateful for all you are accomplishing for the customers we serve.
We will talk more at our upcoming All Hands meeting about what to expect for the year ahead. I hope you’ll join me for the discussion,” he wrote. “I believe in you, I believe in Better, and I believe that working together can make homeownership better together.”
The incident on Wednesday was not the first time Mr Garg has faced criticism for allegedly mistreating his employees.
Forbes reported on leaked emails in which Mr Garg compared his employees to “DUMB DOLPHINS” who were “slow,” saying they would be “eaten by sharks.”
“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,” he allegedly wrote in the email.
Following the mass termination and the ensuing backlash on social media, critics flooded the business rating website Truepilot with negative reviews for Better.com
The digital mortgage company is preparing to go public, and recently received a $750m cash infusion from investors ahead of its debut on the market. Its implied valuation is $6.9bn, according to the company.