Better CEO Vishal Garg 'Sorry' After Mass Firing Over Zoom: 'I Blundered the Execution'

Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, has apologized after laying off 900 employees on a Zoom call, saying he "blundered the execution."

Garg informed employees of the mortgage lender startup that they were being let go, just weeks before the holidays, in a brief one-way video call last week, prompting fierce criticism.

He later accused some of the terminated employees of "stealing" from colleagues and customers by only working two hours a day.

Now, Garg has apologized for the way he handled the layoffs in a letter to employees, saying he realized the way he communicated the news "made a difficult situation worse."

"I want to apologize for the way I handled the layoffs last week," Garg wrote in the letter, which was posted on Blind, an anonymous professional social network, by an employee and on Better's website.

"I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected, and for their contributions to Better. I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it, I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you.

"I realize that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse. I am deeply sorry and am committed to learning from this situation and doing more to be the leader that you expect me to be.

"At Better, your dedication, focus and expertise are essential in the vital work we are doing to unlock the value, joy and opportunity of homeownership for our customers across the country. I couldn't be more grateful for all you are accomplishing for the customers we serve."

Before signing off, he wrote: "I believe in you, I believe in Better, and I believe that working together we can make homeownership better together."

Better.com has been contacted for additional comment.

During the Zoom call announcing the layoffs, Garg told the terminated employees that the cuts were necessary to the company's survival, although the company recently received a $750 million cash infusion.

"If you are in this call you are part of this unlucky group that is being laid off," he said. "Your employment here is terminated effective immediately."

Garg later accused some of the terminated employees of being lazy in a post on Blind. He confirmed to Fortune that he was the one who wrote the post.

"You guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system?" Garg wrote. "They were stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills. Get educated."

Vishal Garg
Images taken from the Zoom conversation of Better.com CEO laying off 900 employees, posted by TikTok user Wanderella Wanderlla