Better.com CEO Vishal Garg has learned firsthand how he can do better in the future: Don’t do a mass layoff of 900 employees in a Zoom meeting.
Garg made headlines last week when he laid off 900 employees at once in a Zoom meeting, saying: “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group…Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately.”
Needless to say, the complete and utter lack of finesse, the lack of respect for his employees, lack of people skills, not to mention lack of basic common sense, did not go over well with employees or the company’s other executives. In fact, CNET reports the company has experienced “mass resignations,” including its vice president of communications, head of PR and head of marketing.
Garg has now written a letter (PDF) apologizing for his handling of the layoffs.
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 the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better.
I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you.
I realize that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse. I am deeply sorry and am committed to learning from this situation and doing more to be the leader that you expect me to be.”
This isn’t Garg’s first issue, when it comes to employee management, that has come to light. Forbes obtained an email last November in which Garg slammed his own employees.
“You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME,” Garg wrote.
It’s clear Better.com’s CEO needs to do far better himself, but only time will tell if he actually will. In the meantime, Garg provided a case study of how not to handle a layoff.