CEO Who Fired Workers on Zoom Is Back: 'Everyone Is Upset'

Vishal Garg back in driver's seat after backlash over laying off 900 staffers last month
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2022 9:25 AM CST

Vishal Garg has apparently taken all the time he needed to think about what made him decide to pink-slip 900 workers last month on a short Zoom call. Per a Tuesday memo to staff from the company's board of directors, the embattled founder and CEO is back after a break—a hiatus reportedly requested by the board—and taking back Better's reins from CFO Kevin Ryan, who has served as the interim CEO since Garg stepped away, reports CNBC. "As you know, [Garg] has been taking a break from his full-time duties to reflect on his leadership, reconnect with the values that make Better great, and work closely with an executive coach," the board writes in its memo.

The group adds that Garg is now once again in the CEO driver's seat, and that "we are confident in Vishal and in the changes he is committed to making to provide the type of leadership, focus, and vision that Better needs at this pivotal time." The memo also revealed two board members have resigned—though "not because of any disagreement with Better"—and that the company itself has undergone a "thorough, independent" review, the results of which have led Better to start the search process for a new chairman of the board, president, and chief HR officer, per the New York Times.

Ryan will serve as the interim president for the time being. The board noted in the memo that it will also be putting in place a training program designed to foster a "respectful workplace," as well as an ethics and compliance panel. All of these mitigation measures don't seem to be easing the anger felt at Garg's return. A source tells TechCrunch that "everyone is upset, and many people have already quit or are planning to." Forbes has more on the "rise and fall of's controversial CEO" here. (More CEO stories.)

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