Better.com’s board of directors has announced CEO Vishal Garg is “taking time off effective immediately” in the wake of laying off 900 people via Zoom.
Garg ignited a firestorm last week when he held a Zoom meeting with 900 employees to tell them they were being laid off. In that call he told the employees: “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group…Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately.”
Garg’s handling of the situation drew immediate backlash, drawing severe criticism and leading to at least three top executives resigning. Garg penned an apology, but it did little to undo the damage.
According to Vice, Better’s board of directors sent out an email addressing the situation, saying Garg is taking time off and measures are being taken to assess the company’s culture.
Here’s the full email, via Vice.
Vishal and the Board wanted to provide Better employees an update given the very regrettable events over the last week.
Vishal will be taking time off effective immediately. During this interim period Kevin Ryan as CFO will be managing the day-to-day decisions of the company and he will be reporting to the Board. As well, the Board has engaged an independent 3rd party firm to do a leadership and cultural assessment. The recommendations of this assessment will be taken into account to build a long-term sustainable and positive culture at Better. We have much work to do and we hope that everyone can refocus on our customers and support each other to continue to build a great company and a company we can be proud of.
Better Board of Directors
Given Garg’s history of toxic interaction with his employees, it would not be surprising if his “time off” becomes a more permanent arrangement.