Better.com CEO Takes A Step Back – Should He Also Step Down?

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We all make mistakes in our careers. Maybe there’s work that we sweep under the rug, meetings that we make excuses to miss, or collaborations we’d rather not work on so we leave people hanging. Owning up to mistakes like that is hard, but necessary if we want to move forward with our professional development. After we’ve resolved those issues, sometimes there’s still a pretty heavy burden of guilt in the aftermath. At least, for some of us there is. When you find yourself feeling bad about something you slipped up on at work, just remember that it could be much, much worse and with much more serious and potentially permanent ramifications. In a recent Zoom meeting, Vishal Garg the CEO of “Better.com” executed a mass layoff. That’s right. I said IN A ZOOM MEETING. Being laid off is bad enough, Zoom meetings are beginning to be the bane of everyone’s existence, and this CEO put the two together for a perfect PR storm, firing approximately 900 people in the call.

The guy sounds like a real piece of work. But hey, remember what I said about owning up to our mistakes in order to move forward? Well, he sort of did? Garg seems to have flip-flopped in his sentiments and tone- saying that he had to cry the last time he fired people, but in the same breath likening the people who he was currently firing to thieves. He declared that many of the workers were only putting in two hours of work a day, essentially stealing from the company. This… did not land well.

Some of the company’s highest performers were in that call and therefore laid off. Yikes! Can you imagine? You’re one of the hardest working people at your company and you 1.) get laid off 2.) over zoom 3.) en masse 4.) because of your “lack of work”? Good grief. It’s no wonder that employees were “calling for a head,” and Garg was forced to take some time off.

Better.com brought in new interim leadership from outside of the company to smooth things over until Garg’s return. Many hope that he will not return and that news of his resignation will soon be announced. Others are fleeing the company left and right, leaving no comment on how they think this will play out. One source from within the company is convinced that all of this is simply a PR stunt and that Garg will return when no one is paying attention anymore, saying:

“My guess is after the media coverage dies down, nothing is going to change and he’s just going to go back to his unhinged sociopathic self.”

Strong words, but probably a very good guess. Yet, we can’t say for sure how this will play out. Only time will tell if the CEO is truly contrite or if he’s just pretending for the press.

What do you think? Have you ever been laid off in a way that was especially out-of-line? What would you want to happen as a result? Do you think Garg will really resign? Should he?