Vishal Garg

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by Tiziana Di Giovannandrea

06 December 2021The shocking official communication arrived during a group meeting via video call. Vishal Garg, chief executive of US mortgage company Better.com, announced the layoff of 9% of its workforce, more than 900 employees, during a video call on Zoom just before the Christmas holidays.



"If you are on this call, you are part of the unfortunate group that will be fired," the CEO said during the group call. "Your employment relationship ends effective immediately," Garg further communicated to linked employees.



CNN reconstructed the episode after viewing the recording of the meeting. 



The CEO then said that employees fired on the spot will soon receive an email from Human Resources in which there will be all the details to receive the benefits and the settlement.



Garg, in justification of the brutal and unexpected decision to leave the 900 employees at home, cited market efficiency, performance and productivity as the reason behind the layoffs. The team dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the company is also among those who have been laid off. In particular, among the causes related to performance and productivity, the CEO motivated the decision as there are alleged problems related to performance and low productivity.



"This is the second time in my career that I have done this and I would not want to. The last time this has happened, I cried," Garg added during the short and sparse call on Zoom.



"Having to fire someone is devastating, especially at this time of year," said the company's CFO, Kevin Ryan, in a statement to CNN Business, justifying the company's drastic decision with the need to adapt the workforce to suit changed market conditions.

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