Vishal Garg, Better CEO who fired 900 over Zoom, is back

Vishal Garg is returning to his “full-time job” as CEO, according to a letter sent to employees on Tuesday from the company’s board. The letter noted that Garg used a leave of absence to “reflect on his leadership, reconnect with the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat make Better great, and work closely with an executive coach.”

The online loan company’s letter to employees, which was obtained by CNN Business, also said that an external law firm was reviewing Better’s workplace culture. The company is implementing changes, including adding more managers and an HR manager.

In December 2021[ads1], Garg held a video interview in which he laid off 9% of Better’s workforce. “If you’re on this call, you’re part of the unfortunate group being laid off,” Garg said. “Your employment here has ended, with immediate effect.”

The CEO had promised a follow-up email from HR – but a former employee told CNN Business that he immediately lost access to the company’s computer, phone, email and messages, including Slack channels.

Garg took leave shortly after the call. At the time, Better said it was hiring a third-party firm to conduct a “leadership and culture assessment,” whose recommendations “would be taken into account to build a long-term sustainable and positive culture at Better.”

‘Anxiety, distraction and embarrassment’

In his own letter to staff on Tuesday, Garg wrote: “I understand how difficult the last few weeks have been. I am deeply sorry for the anxiety, distraction and embarrassment my actions have caused. I have spent a lot of time thinking about where we are as. a company and the kind of leadership Better need … and the leader I want to be. “

It is a tonal deviation from a post he wrote a few weeks ago on the professional network Blind, where he accused a dismissed employee of “stealing” from colleagues and customers by being unproductive and only working two hours a day, according to Fortune. who confirmed these feelings in a later interview with the CEO.

Garg had previously apologized for how he handled the layoffs in a December 7 letter to employees in which he said that he made “a difficult situation worse”.

He added: “I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and gratitude for the individuals affected and for their contributions to Better. I own the decision to lay off, but when I communicated it I was wrong in the execution. By doing that, I embarrassed you. “ is valued at $ 6.9 billion. The company ranked No. 1 on LinkedIn’s Top Startups list in 2021 and 2020. The Softbank-backed mortgage has tried to go public, though it has delayed those plans due to the fallout from Garg’s handling of the layoffs, according to Bloomberg.

The board’s letter on Tuesday also said that Raj Date and Dinesh Chopra had resigned from the board, and that “although we do not comment on individuals’ decisions to leave the board, Raj and Dinesh did not resign due to disagreement with Better.”

– CNN Business’ Ramishah Maruf contributed to this report.

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