indian origin us ceo fires 900 employees over zoom call
India – “Cold”, “harsh”, “a horrible move”. An action by Indian origin CEO in US has been criticized globally especially in the run up to Christmas. Better.com, a mortgage firm’s Chief Executive Officer Vishal Garg has abruptly fired more than 900 employees on a Zoom call. Almost 15% of the workforce was fired by Garg citing market efficiency, productivity and performance as the reasons of this decision.
Vishal Garg said in the call that was later uploaded on social media. “If you’re on this call you’re part of the unlucky group being laid off.” This was not the first time that Garg had taken such an excruciatingly distressing situation, but this time his tone of speech was much measured. “I wish the news were different. I wish we were thriving,” he said.
Soon after the news of firing started making rounds of social media, attracting much criticism over the manner in which it was done, Fortune magazine made another revelation about CEO Garg. Garg had written an “anonymous” blog post in which he had accused sacked staff of the company of “stealing” from the clients and colleagues by being unproductive, whilst working for two hours per day and claiming of having worked for eight hours or more.
Garg has been under the firing line, criticized for his style of management. This came to forefront after email was sent to his staff last year that was obtained by Forbes magazine. The email read, “You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS… SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”
The act of mass-firing by Mr. Garg has been called insensitive by labor rights groups and a sign of a leader who lacks empathy. Gemma Dale, lecturer in employment law and business studies at UK’s Liverpool John Moores University said this method is “no way to lead an organization”. She added that this is not legal in the UK, but added, “Just because you can do this in America, doesn’t mean you should.” She noted, “There are ways to do these things which, even in difficult conditions, are empathetic and decent.”