CEO who laid off 900 workers over Zoom apologizes for it to current staff

The CEO of the mortgage company is apologizing for the way he laid off 900 workers during a Zoom video call, saying he made a blunder and failed to show his employees respect.

"I want to apologize for the way I handled the layoffs last week," Vishal Garg wrote in a letter Tuesday to current employees. 

"I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better."

Garg wrote that he owns "the decision to do the layoffs" but admitted he could have executed it better. 

"I realize that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse. I am deeply sorry and am committed to learning from this situation and doing more to be the leader that you expect me to be," he wrote. 

The apology comes after a video went viral on social media showing Garg fire about 15 percent of the company's workforce. 

He began the Zoom call by thanking everyone for joining the virtual meeting before saying he had "not great news.”

"The market has changed as you know and we have to move with it in order to survive so that hopefully we can continue to thrive and deliver on our mission," he said in a video shared on TikTok. 

"This isn’t news that you are going to want to hear but ultimately it was my decision and I wanted you to hear it from me. It’s been a really, really challenging decision to make. … But we are laying off about 15 percent of the company." 

The person filming the video cursed at Garg as he announced the mass termination. 

“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately," the CEO continued. 

He told the affected workers that they would receive about a month's pay and three months of benefits, and that human resources would reach out to them via their personal email accounts. 

One employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said he was shocked. 

“I thought I was safe. I had perfect reviews and thought I was an integral part of the team," he previously told NBC News. "It’s a bummer, because I know I worked really hard to help build up that company, and it looks like I just wasted my time." 

The former employee, who had worked with the company for a year-and-a-half, said Tuesday that Garg's apology letter was a public relations stunt. 

“My big issue is I know how much I put into the company, helped building it up for him and then he didn’t address any of his derogatory comments at all," the employee said in a phone call. "I mean, it’s just a PR move. … It didn’t really do much for me because I mean I feel like he basically trashed everyone out the door. It was very unprofessional.”

He said he was so stunned about being unexpectedly fired that he couldn't even tell his wife at first. 

"I’m just really disappointed. All the work and success I achieved there … and then to be kicked on the way out the door, is really unacceptable," he said. 

Garg did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. 

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