Better.com CEO Vishal Garg wants to rehabilitate his company’s public image and admits to taking “a lot of leadership training” after an embarrassing public blunder.
- In December 2021, Garg became famous for firing 9% of his company staff—900 people—at once in a large Zoom call.
- During the call, he accused roughly 250 employees of stealing from his company by over-reporting their working hours.
- Last year, his company, Better.com, merged with SPAC Aurora Acquisition Corp. to become Better Home & Finance Holding Company.
- On August 24, the new company became listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
- Garg admitted in a recent interview with TechCrunch that he “blundered” the execution of his layoffs and that he has been working on his leadership skills.
Why It’s Important
With Better.com having been forced to cut 90% of its staff in the past 18 months, posting losses in the first quarter, and still struggling to overcome damage to its reputation, Thursday’s debut was good news for the fledgling mortgage company. The business has already undergone significant restructuring and hopes to move forward and make the best of the current market, although it continues to lose money due to high interest rates.
However, Garg still has a long way to go in rehabilitating his public image and rescuing his company. He tells TechCrunch that his company’s mission is still to offer innovative ways to make homeownership more accessible and affordable, and has worked to personally improve his leadership style after his very public blunder and accusations that his company has mistreated employees.
“I think I was very mission-centric, customer-centric, and really, really focused on what it took to drive growth. And I think I’ve learned now that in order for our customers to be delighted, our teammates also have to feel delighted. So I’ve worked really, really hard to change the way that I show up to the team every day and to be more empathetic and to treat them with the same level of kindness that I showed our customers,” he says.