On one hand, Indian CEOs are making headlines after becoming famous overnight, but some have been just unfortunate for striking the wrong chords and getting caught in action.
Last week, Vishal Garg, the CEO of a New York-based Mortgage firm called Better, chose an online call to fire around 15 per cent of his employees on a zoom call. To his bad luck, an employee recorded the video call and circulated a short clipping to call out the company in public.
Parts of the official video call that have gone viral since, show Garg on a virtual call saying, "Second time in my career I am doing this and I do not, do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger."
.@betterdotcom’s CEO @vishalgarg_ lays off ~900 employees right before the holidays and ahead of the company’s public market debut.— Bucky with the Good Arm (@benjancewicz) December 3, 2021
The firm also got a $750 million cash infusion from its backers THIS WEEK, which include @SoftBank. pic.twitter.com/F8EfSkCRF6
"We are laying off about 15 percent of the company for a number of reasons, market efficiency and performances and productivity," Garg can be heard telling his former resources adding, "If you are on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is being terminated."
He then said employees could expect an email from HR detailing benefits and severance.
The video received severe criticism from netizens as they felt the company ironically could have done 'better' in giving away the unfortunate news and also, not doing it just before the holiday season.
Shame on Vishal Garg of Better. My friends can’t speak out, but I can. Only a pathetic leader can lay off 900 employees over a 3min zoom call with no explanation or a proper farewell.This is why most startups will fail. Once the valuation frenzy fizzles out, you’ll all eat dirt.— Brijraj Agarwal (@anirudhag97) December 2, 2021
Another user questioned the CEO's apparently 'challenging decision' when the company had recently received funding of $750 million recently.
Garg also drew criticism for continuing to flash a 'we are hiring' tag on his official Linkedin page when the news of firing 900 employees initially made its way. The tag has now disappeared from his Linkedin profile.
An article by Fortune magazine has also stated that the Better.com CEO and founder publicly accused hundreds of staffers he laid off on Wednesday of "stealing" from their colleagues and customers by being unproductive.
According to the Fortune report, Garg posted a series of messages seen by Fortune on an anonymous professional network days after he laid off more than 900 employees from his online mortgage company.
On Yelp, the company is known as a direct lender dedicated to providing a fast, transparent digital mortgage experience and is financially backed by SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate.
However, this doesn't seem to be the only time where Garg seems to have gotten it all wrong.
A story by The Daily Beast in August this year wrote about legal allegations made against the Better co-founder and CEO, quoting a former employee: "That's just his deal. Vishal is obsessed with power, and with perceptions of his own self in the world."