Vishal Garg is stepping back into his role as CEO of Better one month after firing 900 employees over Zoom

·2 min read
  • Better CEO Vishal Garg is back to head the company after his leave of absence.

  • He spent his time off reflecting on his leadership and working with an executive coach, an internal memo shows.

  • Garg came under fire after laying off 900 employees in a Zoom call last month.

Better founder Vishal Garg is back as CEO of the online-mortgage startup.

"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," Better's board told staff in an internal memo, according to The Daily Beast, which first reported the news. "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."

Garg has been on a leave of absence since December 10 after a controversial mass layoff of 900 employees in a three-minute group Zoom. Garg also accused at least 250 terminated staff members of "stealing" from the company by working just two hours a day while claiming pay for eight or more, according posts on the job-focused social network Blind that were first reported by Fortune.

Garg told remaining staff in a livestreamed town hall half an hour after the layoffs that the company "should have done this three months ago." He said he wanted to create "Better 2.0," with a "leaner, meaner, hungrier workforce."

The developments triggered widespread outrage and ignited broader discussions about toxic work cultures.

Garg later apologized to the company's remaining staff, saying he had "blundered the execution" of the layoffs. He then went on a leave of absence while Better engaged an independent third party to "do a leadership and cultural assessment."

The company has since conducted a "thorough, independent" review and will be expanding its leadership with a new board chairman, a president, and a chief human resources officer, the New York Times reported, citing the internal memo on Tuesday. It also announced a training program on building "a respectful workplace" and a new ethics and compliance committee that reports directly to the board.

Better did not immediately reply to Insider's request for comment.

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