Better.com founder Vishal Garg will return as CEO of the online mortgage lender, just weeks after he laid off 900 employees during a now-infamous Zoom call, according to an internal memo obtained by the Post.
Garg will be “resuming his full-time duties as CEO,” employees were informed Tuesday in a memo attributed to Better’s board of directors.
Garg took a leave of absence on Dec. 10 after his viral remarks toward employees during the Zoom call prompted a social media outcry.
“As you know, Better’s CEO Vishal Garg has been taking a break from his full-time duties to reflect on his leadership, reconnect with the values that make Better great and work closely with an executive coach,” the memo said.
“We are confident in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the type of leadership, focus and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time,” the board added.
Garg met with Better’s board of directors “several times” during his leave of absence, according to the memo. The Better CEO will send a separate email to employees with “some thoughts” about his return.
The memo also revealed that two of Better’s board members, Raj Date and Dinesh Chopra, have resigned from their positions. The company did not say why they left, but noted they “did not resign because of any disagreement with Better.”
Footage from Garg’s mass Zoom layoff in December went viral on social media platforms, including TikTok. At the time, the Better CEO cited market changes and concerns about workforce efficiency for the dismissals.
“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately,” he said during the call.
Garg also accused at least 250 of the dismissed employees of “stealing” from the company and customers due to a lack of productivity, Fortune reported.
Garg later apologized for his handling of the situation.
“I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better,” he said in a message to employees. “I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you.”