Better.com CEO Vishal Garg fires 15% of its workforce over Zoom call

Vishal Garg, the founder and CEO of the digital mortgage company Better.com, laid off more than 900 people over Zoom last week. He accused “at least 250” terminated staff members of stealing from the company by working just two hours a day, Fortune first

Garg made a Zoom call last week to the employees of Better.com, a US-based digital-first homeownership company headquartered in New York. The firing comes right before the holiday season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpjqbvLkPUw

“Thank you for joining. 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 continue on our mission,” Garg starts off in the now-viral video.

“We’re laying off about 15 per cent of the company for a number of reasons — the market, efficiency and performances and productivity,” he says. “If you’re on this call, you’re part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”

Leading up to the layoffs, Better reviewed individual employee data such as the number of phone calls answered, missed, and placed, as well as client-meeting attendance, Fortune reported. The productivity rates helped inform the management team on who to keep and who to let go, Garg said.

Those laid off get four weeks of severance, one month of full benefits, and two months of cover-up paid for by the company, Garg said.

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