CEO Faces Backlash After Firing 900 Employees Over Zoom Just Before the Holidays

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Zoom has been a common way for people to communicate over the past few years. We’ve been part of business meetings that took place over Zoom. We’ve been part of family celebrations that also took place over Zoom. We’ve even used the service to chat with friends, especially towards the beginning of the pandemic, and don’t forget about months on end when our kids used Zoom to attend school.

While it seems that you can share just about anything on Zoom, should their be limits? Are their certain topics that would be more appropriate to address in person, over the phone or at least in a small group?

A large Zoom meeting might be great for presentations, but it can seem harsh when the news you’re sharing is life-changing in a very bad and personal way. Unfortunately, 900 employees found out they were getting fired while they were on a Zoom call.

Imagine having a Zoom call added to your work schedule. It’s not a small meeting. There are actually a lot of attendees. Then the CEO of the company announces that everyone on the call has been fired. It would be shocking, but that’s just what happened to employees at a mortgage company called Better.com.

Better.com’s CEO, Vishal Garg, led the meeting. Instead of notifying each individual separately and more compassionately, he decided to do a mass lay off online. According to CNN Business, Garg told the employees, “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off.” He added, “Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”

We’re not sure why he didn’t let HR handle the firings. It’s not like he laid off the entire HR department. Instead, he informed employees that they would be hearing from HR about severance and benefits.

Garg didn’t seem completely heartless; although, he kept his emotions in check throughout the meeting. He told employees, “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 it, I cried.” This time, he did not cry.

Garg kept the meeting short, but he did cite a few reasons why the people on this call were being fired. He claimed they weren’t productive and they only worked 2 hours each day.

This isn’t the first time Garg has treated his employees harshly. According to Forbes, he once sent an email to his employees writing, “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.”

Although it’s heartbreaking to lose a job over Zoom and right before the holidays, it sounds like this is not the type of boss anyone would really enjoy working for. We wish the employees luck finding a new job where their boss treats them with respect.

How would you react if you were fired over Zoom? Do you think this mass lay off via Zoom was inappropriate? If so, how do you think it could have been handled better?