A week after firing 900 employees in a single Zoom call, Vishal Garg is “taking time off effective immediately” from his position as CEO of digital mortgage outfit Better.com.
In an email to employees, obtained by Vice, the Better.com board says that CFO Kevin Ryan will be managing the day-to-day decisions of the company and that an independent third party firm has been called in to "do a leadership and cultural assessment".
Garg caused uproar after a video emerged of him telling hundreds of staffers over Zoom that “if you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off".
To add insult to injury, days after the firings Garg posted messages on anonymous professional network Blind, saying many of the affected employees were "stealing" by "working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking 8 hours+ a day".
According to Vice, three senior employees resigned following the event and Garg apologised for failing to "show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for individuals who are affected and for their contributions to Better".
Since the Zoom call, other details have emerged about Garg's volatile behaviour, with staffers reporting inappropriate language and a culture of fear.
Meanwhile, Garg called Howard Newman of the investment firm Pine Brook Partners "sewage" and an "ingrate and a thug and a miserable miser," after Newman questioned Better.com's decision to go public via a Spac rather than a more traditional route.
Garg made the comments in an email to Newman, copying in a host of other Better.com investors, according to Vice.