Better.com CEO Vishal Garg said $200M wasted on over-hiring

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg said $200M wasted on over-hiring

Fresh details have emerged about Better.com CEO Vishal Garg’s infiringfamous of 900 employees on a Zoom call last December — with a leaked video revealing the brash boss told the startup’s remaining workers that he should have done it sooner.

Garg gave a dire forecast about the online mortgage lender’s business during the roughly 12-minute meeting — which reportedly took place immediately after the Zoom layoffs that prompted an uproar on social media.

At one point during the meeting, Garg admitted Better had lost $100 million the previous quarter. He added the losses were his “mistake” because the embattled company “should have done what we did today three months ago.”

“Today we acknowledge that we over-hired, and hired the wrong people. And in doing that we failed. I failed. I was not disciplined over the past 18 months,” Garg said. “We made $250 million last year, and you know what, we probably pissed away $200 million. We probably could have made more money last year and been leaner, meaner and hungrier.”

Footage from Garg’s mass Zoom layoff went viral on social media platforms and prompted intense criticism over the company’s handling of the situation. Garg accused at least 250 of the fired employees of effectively “stealing” from the company through lack of productivity.

Vishal Garg took a leave of absence from Better.com after the Zoom incident, but returned in January.
Linkedin/Vishal Garg

In the follow-up meeting with Better employees who escaped the layoffs, Garg demanded that workers step up their efforts.

“You will not be allowed to fail twice. You’ll be encouraged to fail once, but not allowed to fail twice,” Garg added.

Video of Garg’s remarks was obtained by TechCrunch, which did not publish the actual footage to protect the identity of the source. Fast Company published an audio recording of the meeting.

A Better.com spokesperson addressed the video in a statement to The Post: “Following a thorough review of our culture by outside experts, we have taken significant steps related to our executive leadership structure, governance and workplace practices to ensure that Better’s culture and operations reflect our values ​​and that we always maintain an environment of fairness, respect, transparency and care for every member of our team.”

Garg apologized for his behavior on the Zoom call and took a leave absence from his role as CEO after the incident went viral.

But Better’s board of directors revealed in January that Garg would return — noting that they were “confident in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the type of leadership, focus and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time.”

Several top Better.com executives have left the company since December, including two members of its board.

Better.com conducted another, larger round of layoffs in March, cutting about 3,000 staffers, or roughly 35% of its corporate workforce.

Those layoffs proved controversial as well, with Better admitting its error after some employees included in the cuts found out they were out of a job after prematurely receiving their severance check.

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