Better.com’s CEO is ‘taking time off effective immediately’ after firing 900 employees on Zoom

Vishal Garg ceo better
CEO Vishal Garg. Better.com
  • Better.com CEO Vishal Garg is taking leave effective immediately, per an internal memo seen by Insider.
  • It comes after Garg laid off more than 900 employees on a Zoom call last week.
  • The memo says Better.com has engaged a third party to “do a leadership and cultural assessment.”

Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com who last week fired 900 employees on Zoom, is “taking time off effective immediately,” according to an internal memo seen by Insider.

The memo, first reported by Vice, refers to “very regrettable events over the last week” and says Better.com has engaged an independent third party to “do a leadership and cultural assessment.”

In a three-minute call, Garg on December 1 told 900 employees they were being laid off, “effective immediately.” Garg also accused “at least 250” terminated staff members of “stealing” from the company by working just two hours a day while claiming for eight or more, according to a Blind post first reported by Fortune.

The internal memo, signed by Paula Tuffin, chief compliance officer and general counsel of Better.com, says Kevin Ryan, CFO, will manage “the day-to-day decisions of the company” in Garg’s absence and will report to the board.

The memo says the recommendations of its leadership and cultural assessment “will be taken into account to build a long-term sustainable and positive culture at Better.”

“We have much work to do and we hope that everyone can refocus on our customers and support each other to continue to build a great company and a company we can all be proud of,” the memo says.

Since announcing the mass layoffs, Better.com’s top marketing, PR, and communications executives have resigned, Insider reported.

In a leaked video shared with Insider, Garg told remaining staff in a livestreamed meeting just half an hour after the firings that he was trying to create “Better 2.0,” with a “leaner, meaner, hungrier workforce.”

Garg later apologized to remaining staff, saying he had “blundered the execution” of the layoffs.

One of the Better.com employees sacked in the now-infamous Zoom call said he had to message his ex-colleagues on his personal social media to ask about the mass firing, because the company had already pulled access to his work email and messaging.

Other former Better.com employees have expressed shock at the mass firing. “They dumped us like trash,” a former employee told The Daily Beast