What kind of boss fires 900 employees on Zoom right before Christmas?
When you think you’ve seen the worst in corporate leadership behavior, a story comes along that is almost hard to believe.
You may have heard about it.
On December 1, CEO of the mortgage company Better.com, Vishal Garg, hastily summoned 900 U.S. employees onto a Zoom call.
In the call, he announced that all of their employment was “terminated effective immediately.” The 900 fired employees represented 9% of Better.com’s workforce.
What’s even more strange is the week before the call, the company had received $750 million as part of their public offering. Better.com was rich with cash and had more than $1 billion on its balance sheet.
But that didn’t matter to Vishal Garg.
People are a problem to a boss like him, whose personal net worth is over $4 billion. They are a nuisance, a bother, and an expense that needs to be eliminated.Many bosses see people as a problem that needs to be eliminated. Click To Tweet
It didn’t matter that it was Christmas or that these 900 employees had helped build Better.com into a company worth more than $7 billion.
To Garg, these workers stood in the way of his goals, so he simply fired them all.
No notice. No warning. No mercy.
And this isn’t the first time the brash, impetuous, and often volatile Garg has shown a complete lack of care for his workers. According to former employees, Garg’s aggressive and insensitive behavior created a toxic work environment.
In one example, he wrote an abusive email to a group of employees that said, “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and…DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”
His outbursts, put-downs, and insults caused problems for staffers and forced many good employees to quit.
But the mass firing seemed to be the final blow to the fractured culture.
Since the event, many high-ranking executives have fled the company, including the head of marketing, vice president of communications, and public relations director.
And even more resignations are expected.
One worker told The Daily Beast that after the mass firing, “[The] company culture took a DEEP dive, and everyone I’ve spoken to is looking to leave.”
Now, I don’t know much about Vishal Garg, but I know a lot about leadership. And Garg is not a leader.
He failed to understand the basic principle I wrote about in I Have the Watch that leadership is a people business.Leadership is a people business. Click To Tweet
It’s about motivating people towards a goal, not harassing them to do your bidding.
And the heart of great leadership is treating people with respect.
Narcissistic bosses like Garg forget that leaders are responsible for both the mission AND the people. All they care about is filling their personal bank account.
When you treat people like a problem and a nuisance, you destroy the culture. And when you kill the culture, you lose any chance of accomplishing your mission.
Better.com is now a damaged business due to the actions of another lousy boss.
What kind of boss fires 900 employees on Zoom right before Christmas? A bad one.
Don’t be a bad boss.
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