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CEO of better.com, firing 900 employees over Zoom last month, return to his position

Vishal Garg will return to his role on Wednesday, weeks after the company's board of directors declared in a staff message

CEO of better.com, firing 900 employees over Zoom last month, return to his position
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An online mortgage company's Indian-origin CEO, who drew backlash after firing over 900 staff over Zoom last month, is returning to his post.

Last year, Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, fired nearly 900 employees during a Zoom call just weeks before Christmas.

"I come to you with not great news. 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," generating much criticism for the manner in which he told roughly 9% of the company's employees that they were being laid go.

Garg had later apologized for the way he handled the layoffs, saying, "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."

It was announced on Wednesday that Garg is returning to his position, weeks after the company's board had announced in a staff memo that he was "taking time off" following the "very regrettable events."

A report in The New York Times cited an email sent by the company's board to staff that read, "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."

"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," it said.

A report said that in a separate letter to employees, Garg said, "I understand how hard these past few weeks have been. I am deeply sorry for the angst, distraction and embarrassment my actions have caused. I've spent a lot of time thinking about where we are as a company and the type of leadership Better needs … and the leader I want to be."

Garg had promised the employees that they would receive an email from the Human Resource department explaining perks and severance once they were fired. The firings, according to Garg, were motivated by market efficiency, performance, and productivity.

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