Video Managing a business during the plague years has been tough for many, but one plucky CEO has found a clever and efficient way to execute such an unpleasant task: fire 900 workers at once in a Zoom meeting.
In an exercise completely devoid of sensitivity, Better.com CEO Vish Garg gathered around 900 of his staff onto a five-minute Zoom call during the month of Christmas to tell them their jobs were officially nonexistent.
"If you are on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately," the CEO said.
His empathy-averse approach next saw Garg tell the newly unemployed that this was not the first time he had conducted such layoffs, and that it's not an easy job.
"The last time I did it, I cried," lamented The CEO Who Stole Christmas, as seen in the video below that swiftly leaked.
Employees reported that immediately after the call the unlucky nine per cent of the company was unable to access their computers. HR was then sent to clean up the mess with compensation and insurance policies.
But Garg wasn't done. According to Twitter reports, he then went into another meeting with the survivors, where he complained that the terminated employees were dragging the company down.
Pro-business outlet Fortune magazine reported Garg still had enough steam that week to write anonymous blog posts in which he publicly accused the former employees of "stealing" from their colleagues and customers by being unproductive.
Which seems on-brand, given the email he once sent to staff labeling some "embarrassing", "too damn slow", or "dumb dolphins".
Better.com is a Softbank-backed online mortgage company worth about $6 billion. Inc. Magazine rated it one of the "Best Workplaces of 2020". Draw your own conclusions about such lists, dear readers.
In May, the company announced it was going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – a route to public ownership that delivers the benefits without having to endure the typical scrutiny required to float independently. As part of the SPAC deal, the company received $750 million in cash last week, bringing its balance sheet to over $1 billion.
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Requests to confirm or deny rumors that the layoffs are tied to the cash injection were not immediately answered by Better.com.
The company is, however, trying to talk to new staff – the company currently lists 58 open positions on its website. Why the 900 axed staff couldn't be moved to those roles has not been explained. Maybe the dolphins can shed some light on the situation?
Those interested in applying may want to heed recent scathing Glassdoor recommendations, the first of which sets the tone with the title "Being milked for every last drop before it crashes".
Good luck to Better.com as it tries to fill those roles amid "The Great Resignation".
Garg, bro, read the room. And remember: He who lives by the Zoom, dies by the Zoom. ®