News Founder Vishal Garg Returns as CEO A Month After Brutal Mass Firing

Vishal Garga, founder of — who was forced to quit after malfunction hundreds of its workers in a monotonous webinar — getting back to work, according to an internal memo obtained by The Daily Beast.

“As you know, Better CEO Vishal Garg has taken a break from his full-time job to reflect on his leadership, reconnecting with the values ​​that make Better great, and working closely with an executive coach,” read the letter to employees. attributed to the company’s board of directors.

“Vishal will continue his full-time duties as CEO. We believe in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the kind of leadership, focus and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time.”

The news was an unwelcome development for some at the mortgage-lending startup, which is backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

“No one wants him back,” a current employee said on condition of anonymity. “I know… people who were planning to leave if he remained as CEO, and I plan to be one of them now.”

Garg and Better did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The trouble at Better began in early December, when hundreds of employees were suddenly summoned to a webinar at the start of the workday. Many assumed they were gathering to discuss the $750 million in cash the company had received the day before.

Instead, in an emotionless voice, Garg informed the callers that they were out of work.

“If you’re on this call, you’re part of an unlucky group,” he said. “Your employment is terminated effective immediately.”

After the call, Garg attacked the employees he had just fired, telling their former colleagues that many worked two-hour days and likening them to thieves.

A clip of the mass layoffs quickly went viral on several social media platforms, leading to intense — and unexpected — scrutiny of the startup and its founder.

Within a week of the webinar, Better’s head of marketing, head of public relations, and vice president of communications All resigned.

Soon after, Garg forced to take time off.

Since then, the culture has continued to grow internally. A current employee said: “Operations are a complete bonfire right now. “There is also a mass migration across all departments, so that could prevent layoffs entirely because of attrition rates. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is running for the door. “

Business also seems to be hurting. Mortgage refinancing — already hugely lucrative for Better — has slowed dramatically. A current worker said that the company had moved important work to India, which led to confusion and errors that delayed the signing.

Garg is no stranger to controversy. As Forbes report in 2020, he once threatened to burn his former business partner alive.

The Daily Beast also reported last fall about big payouts Garg handed it to one of his top lieutenants, causing internal eyebrows to raise.

At least nominally, Garg will have some oversight going forward. Tuesday’s internal memo indicated that the board would seek a new chair, along with a company president and chief human resources officer.

Better’s chief financial officer, Kevin Ryan, who led the company in Garg’s absence, will become interim chairman.

Two members of the board will also step down, at least one of them with close ties to Garg, according to two people familiar with the matter.


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