"If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off," Garg said on the call.

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg fires over 900 employees over Zoom callLinkedIn/Vishal Garg
news Employment Tuesday, December 07, 2021 - 11:33

An Indian-origin CEO of a US-based homeownership company has abruptly fired more than 900 employees — about 9% of the company’s workforce — on a Zoom webinar. Better.com CEO Vishal Garg cited market efficiency, performance and productivity as the reasons behind the move. On a Zoom webinar last Wednesday, December 1, Better.com CEO Vishal Garg abruptly announced that the mortgage company is laying off about 9% of its workforce, CNN reported.

 "If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off," he said on the call. "Your employment here is terminated effective immediately," Garg said.  

Garg cited market efficiency, performance and productivity as the reason behind the firings, the report said.

The CEO informed the more than 900 employees on the call that they were being terminated just before the holidays, the report said. He then said employees could expect an email from the Human Resource department, detailing benefits and severance.

"Having to conduct layoffs is gut wrenching, especially this time of year," CFO Kevin Ryan said in a statement to CNN Business. "However a fortress balance sheet and a reduced and focused workforce together set us up to play offense going into a radically evolving homeownership market," he added. 

Meanwhile, Fortune reported that Garg accused the employees of "stealing" from their colleagues and customers by being unproductive and only working two hours a day. "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 said on the call.

Among those fired were the diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting team.

“I come to you with not great news. The market has changed, as you know, and we have to move with it in order to survive, so that hopefully, we can continue to thrive and deliver on our mission. This isn’t news that you’re gonna wanna 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. But we are letting off about 15% of the company for market efficiency, performance, and productivity. If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off,” Garg said.

Watch a recording of the Zoom webinar: 

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