Better.com CEO 'taking time off' after Zoom mass layoff, report says

CEO Vishal Garg had already apologized after firing about 900 employees last week during a Zoom meeting.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
2 min read

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg during the Zoom call in which he laid off about 900 employees.

Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET (via TikTok)

Better.com CEO Vishal Garg is reportedly "taking time off" after apologizing Tuesday for laying off hundreds of employees via a Zoom call last week. The digital mortgage lender's board of directors said Friday that it will hire an independent firm to do a "leadership and cultural assessment," according to a report from Vice

In an email to employees on Tuesday, which was posted on the Better.com site, Garg apologized for how he handled the layoffs. "I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better," Garg wrote. "I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you."

Garg added that the way he communicated the layoffs "made a difficult situation worse," and he committed to doing more as a leader. He also said he'd take steps toward being more transparent within the company and regarding goals for 2022.

The apology from Garg came in the wake of mass resignations from the company's top management on Monday following the layoffs, including the vice president of communications, the head of public relations and the head of marketing.

In an email on Friday, the company's board of directors said CFO Kevin Ryan will be running day-to-day operations "during the interim period," according to Vice.

Better.com had received $750 million in funding from SoftBank and Aurora Acquisition the day before the layoffs, as part of a plan to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The deal is being pushed back, but the company is expected to have a $6.9 billion valuation.

The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.