Better.com, an online mortgage lender, said Tuesday it’s making more cuts to its workforce just three months after the company’s CEO faced criticism for firing 900 employees over a Zoom call.
Better, which has about 9,000 employees, plans to lay off about a third of its workforce, or about 3,000 employees, according to numbers provided to The New York Times.
“We must take the difficult step of streamlining our operations further and reducing our workforce in both the US and India in a substantial way,” Interim President Kevin Ryan said in a letter to employees and posted to Better’s website Tuesday.
Ryan said in the letter that affected employees would be notified of their termination in the coming days by a member of the company’s leadership team. He said affected employees will get 60 to 80 days of severance and three months of COBRA health care coverage.
However, some employees learned they were being laid off before being contacted by a supervisor when severance appeared in their payroll account, according to TechCrunch. Better confirmed that “a small number of employees were unintentionally notified of their separation” from the company early due to payroll notices.
“This was certainly not the form of notification that we intended and stemmed from an effort to ensure that impacted employees received severance payments as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.
Vishal Garg, the company’s CEO and founder, faced a backlash in December after firing about 900 employees over Zoom. “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Garg said during the call, a recording of which circulated on TikTok and YouTube.
Garg issued an apology a few days later in the wake of mass resignations from the company’s top management, including the vice president of communications, the head of public relations and the head of marketing. A little more than a month after announcing in December that he was “taking time off” from the job, he returned to his position as CEO.
Better had received $750 million in funding from SoftBank and Aurora Acquisition the day before the December layoffs, as part of a plan to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.