Former employees of the American mortgage company Better.com are still upset about it. Nine hundred staff were told at the same time that they could leave during a group call with the chief executive of the company Vishal Garg. In an internal memo, the CEO has apologized.
“When youre in this group call, youre one of the unfortunate group of people being fired,” Garg said during a three-minute monologue via Zoom. It was about 9 percent of the total workforce of the mortgage lender.
He added that the employment relationship would be terminated immediately:
For the employees involved, the message came completely unexpectedly. One of them, Christian Chapman, tells CNN that after the companys call, he tried to find out what was going on with colleagues via chat channels. But soon access to his phone, email, and Better.com messaging services was blocked. He had to track down his colleagues via Facebook.
“It was a surreal experience,” Chapman describes. “One of those things you dont believe is happening.” A few hours later, he received confirmation of his resignation in his personal email.
There was another unpleasant surprise to the dismissed employees. In an interview with Fortune, they were accused of theft by their former boss, for being “unproductive” and not working more than two hours a day. “I got a promotion and then he portrays us all as a bunch of lazy money thieves,” says another fired employee, who recently won another award for his performance at the company. “That makes no sense. Id rather be broke than walking that around with thoughts of sorts.”
Now that the video has been shared en masse, Garg also says he is aware of the impact of his Zoom call. In a leaked letter to the employees who were allowed to keep their jobs, the top man apologizes for how the mass dismissal was communicated, reports Business Insider.
“I have not shown the appropriate respect and appreciation for those affected by this and for their contributions to Better.” He still stands behind the mass resignation, but acknowledges that he has “baffled” when communicating it. “That made me embarrassed you.” Some of the executives at Better.com have stepped out of dissatisfaction with the events.