Meet Vishal Garg: An Indian-American CEO who fired 900 employees over a Zoom call!

For the US-based homeownership company 'Better Mortgage', December 1 will always be remembered in history for an unusual precedent of firing employees. For the company, it took only a Zoom call to terminate 9% of its total workforce and the participants of the call were eventually got laid off with immediate effect. The company is being run by Indian-American Vishal Garg, who is its Chief Executive Officer and an unprecedented overhaul had attracted global attention.

On a Zoom webinar last Wednesday, December 1, Vishal Garg had abruptly announced that the company is laying off 9% of its workforce. CNN has reported that over 900 employees were fired over a Zoom call in an immediate effect and on the call, Garg said, "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." As per the report, Garg cited market efficiency, performance, and productivity as the reason behind this mass termination. 

Garg has informed the more than 900 employees on the call that they were being terminated just before the holidays and he further told them they could expect an email from the Human Resource Department, detailing benefits and severance. As per the report from Fortune, Garg has accused the employees of stealing from their colleagues and customers by being unproductive and only working two hours a day. He said on the call, "This is the second time in my career I'm doing this and I do not want to do this. The last time I did, I cried." 

The video clip of his announcement has been rampantly spread on social media. In the video clip, he can be heard saying, "I come to you with not great news. The market has changed, as you know, and we have to move with it in order to survive, so that hopefully, we can continue to thrive and deliver on our mission. This isn't news that you're gonna wanna hear, but ultimately it was my decision, and I wanted you to hear it from me. It's been a really, really challenging decision to make." 

"This is the second time in my career I'm doing this and I do not, do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger. But we are letting off about 15% of the company for market efficiency, performance, and productivity. If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off", Garg added. The reports say among those fired were the diversity, equity, and inclusion recruiting team. While the mass firing had startled the like-minds and peers globally, the reports reminisce how Garg had caught in controversy previously through an email he sent to staff.

The email was obtained by Forbes and Garg wrote, "You are too damn slow. You are a bunch of Dumb Dolphins. So stop it. Stop it. Stop it right now. You are embarrassing me." According to a report from the Daily Beast in August, Garg's most loyal lieutenants had received massive perks, such as millions of dollars worth of stock options that could be vested immediately, not comparable to other employees. 

Better Mortgage was started by Vishal Garg in 2016 and it is based in New York, the United States. Better is a digital-first homeownership company. Before sporting his own firm, Garg was a former analyst with Morgan Stanley. As per his LinkedIn bio, Garg is also the founding partner of One Zero Capital, an investment holding company. Garg was seven years old when he moved to New York from India with his family and he went to graduate from the New York University in Finance and International Business. 

According to The Independent, Garg has in 2000 launched a private student loan company named - MyRichUncle along with his high school friend and fellow immigrant Raza Khan. However, years later, the company has got bankrupt following which they found another company, which didn't last long either. Their relationship took a big blow with Khan filing a lawsuit against Garg and Garg accusing Khan of stealing. Garg had worked with Morgan Stanley and a year after Khan's lawsuit, Garg had established Better Mortgage, which has now made headlines through his decision of firing over 900 employees over a Zoom call. Shockingly, the employees affected by his decision of mass termination were mainly from India and the US.