The CEO of an online startup mortgage firm fired 900 employees in less than a minute in a brutal Zoom call and slammed them for being lazy that was hurting the business as well as the customers. A leaked video shows Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, firing over 15 percent of the company's workforce last Wednesday via a Zoom webnair.
Garg has been slammed for taking the brutal decision and that too for doing it via a Zoom call and in the middle of the holiday season. Interestingly, Garg delivered the grim news soon after his $7 billion mortgage lender startup was pledged a $750 million cash infusion.
The one-way leaked Zoom call shows Garg slamming his employees and then telling them that they have been fired. The blunt call opens with Garg sitting in his home and telling his employees, "This isn't news that you're going to want to hear...If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately."
The 900 employees include the axing of the firm's entire diversity, equity and inclusion team, which deals with complaints about racism and sexism in the workplace.
The call lasted for three minutes and Garg before firing his employees warned them that what he was going to share was not great news. "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 going to want to hear. But ultimately it was my decision. And I wanted you to hear from me. It's been a really, really challenging decision to make," he said.
He also fretted about his own feelings and tried to show that he wasn't too happy about firing his employees. However, his emotions and feelings weren't received well by others.
"This is the second time in my career I'm doing this and I do not, do not, want to do this," he said, according to TechCrunch. "The last time I did it, I cried. This time, I hope to be stronger. We are laying off about 15% of the company for a number of reasons â the market, efficiency and performances and productivity."
Slammed by Everyone
The shell-shocked employees couldn't believe Garg's words initially but soon realized that he meant what he said. Moments after firing them, Garg also blasted the 900 sacked employees for being lazy, which was costing the company huge money. At the same time, he also said that the customers were also suffering because of these employees.
A couple of days after that Zoom call, Garg let fly on an anonymous professional network, this time again accusing those employees of "stealing" and working just two hours a day, reported Fortune.
The call was recorded by one axed worker filmed who shared it online, complete with a moment where they cursed at Garg, who owns at least $1 billion in equity, as he confirmed the mass lay-offs at Better.com, which has offices in San Francisco and Charlotte, North Carolina.
One of those employees blurted out, "F--- you, dude," in a clip that was posted online. "Are you f----ing kidding me?"
Better.com, a digital mortgage lending startup, was founded in 2014 by Garg. The start-up recently received $750 million in investments, and is set to go public. It will have $1 billion on its balance-sheet shortly, according to a Techcrunch report.
Garg, who is married with children, however, blamed the axing on market fluctuations. Better.com employs 835 people in Charlotte, N.C., 587 in Orange County, California and 546 in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to The Sacramento Bee, plus a smattering in New York City, Texas and India.
However, Garg didn't stop after firing those 900 employees. In a follow-up call, he told the remaining lucky employees that he would be scrutinizing their productivity, some of the participants told Fortune. Two of those employees told the outlet that he had actually used the word "bloodbath" to describe the coming year.