It started with an invitation to a Zoom meeting and ended with a mass firing.
“If you’re on this call, you’re part of the unlucky bunch that’s getting laid off,” Vishal Garg, CEO of mortgage firm Better.com , told about 900 employees on the call, which was later shared on social media.
The fact has generated questions in the country among those who consider that the company used a “hard” and “cold” and “unethical” method to terminate the contract of its employees, especially in the period before Christmas.
The number of laid-off employees represents 15% of the company’s payroll .
“The last time I did this I cried,” Garg told staff on the call.
The executive explained that behind the decision was “the performance and productivity of the staff” and “changes in the market.”
He did not mention the $750 million cash infusion that Better.com received from investors last week.
Better.com CFO Kevin Ryan told the BBC that “having to make redundancies is heartbreaking, especially at this time of year.”
However, he added that having “a strong balance sheet and a lean, focused workforce” was necessary to deal with the “radically evolving homeownership market.”
Better.com, which aims to use technology to make the home-buying process “faster and more efficient,” is backed by Japanese conglomerate Softbank and is worth around $6 billion.
Garg’s management style has been criticized before, most notably after an email he sent to staff that Forbes magazine obtained last year.
In the email, Garb wrote to them, “YOU’RE TOO SLOW. You’re a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS…SO STOP. STOP. STOP RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”
Following Monday’s firing, Fortune magazine confirmed that Garg was the author of a previously written anonymous blog post accusing staff he fired of “stealing” colleagues and clients for being unproductive.
He also pointed out that they only worked two hours a day, while they claimed to have worked for eight or more.
Gemma Dale , a professor of Labor Law and Business Studies at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, said the way the dismissal occurred “is no way to run an organisation”.
A mass dismissal like this would not be legal in several countries, according to the academic.
“Just because you can do this in the United States doesn’t mean you should,” he added.
“There are ways to do these things that, even under difficult conditions, are empathetic and decent.”
In the expert’s opinion, such decisions could harm both the company and its staff, since “existing employees will see how the company treats people as a sign of how it will treat them in the future.”
“There are proper channels through which to deal with staff who do not meet required standards or workload and while employers have the right to take appropriate action, there is a right way to do these things both morally and morally. as legally ,” he considered.