About 900 employees at a digital mortgage company with offices in California, North Carolina and Texas signed onto a live Zoom call only to discover their jobs had been eliminated just before the holidays.
Vishal Garg, chief executive officer of Better.com, delivered the news this week, days after the firm, valued at $7 billion, received a $750 million cash infusion, Forbes reported.
“I come to you with not great news,” Garg says in the video, which has since been posted to TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. “The market has changed, as you know, and we have to move with it in order to survive.”
Only those about to lose their jobs were invited to the Zoom call, SFGate reported.
“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Garg says in the video. “Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”
“F--- you, dude,” responds someone watching Garg in the video call, as posted on You Tube. “Are you f----ing kidding me?”
Garg tells workers he hopes they would be “more successful, more fortunate, and luckier in your next endeavor.”
In the call, Garg said the company was laying off 15% of its workforce, but the company later clarified the layoffs amount to 9% of its workforce, TechCrunch reported.
The company has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Charlotte, among others. A LinkedIn profile shows it employs 835 people in Charlotte, 587 in Orange County, California, and 546 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company also has employees in New York City, Texas and India.
“The last time I did this, I cried,” Garg tells workers in the video. “This time, I hope to be stronger.”
Response on social media was swift.
“Companies like this should have no one working for them,” read one Twitter post.
“Damn. Handling employee layoffs carelessly is the #1 way to ensure I never deal with that company,” read another Twitter post.
In a statement to SFGate, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ryan defended the layoffs as painful but necessary.
“Having to conduct layoffs is gut wrenching, especially this time of year, however a fortress balance sheet and a reduced and focused workforce together set us up to play offense going into a radically evolving homeownership market,” Ryan wrote.