Watch: CEO of Better.com fires 900 employees over a Zoom meeting

Bingo. That’s what I did when I was laid off in a phone call. I just hung up and left.

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Let’s file this heartless act under “End Stage Capitalism”, because capitalism won’t end soon enough…

#NeverVoteRepublican
#TaxTheChurches
#TaxTheRich

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Nothing is more cringey than fucking crocodile tears, like fuck off.
Although I have something pretty close to that level of cringe.
I used to work for this company that was in the manufacturing and distribution business in the medical world. I left not too long after a new CEO came on board because it was clear to me that he was making this highly profitable company look very attractive to a buyer. Spoiler alert, I was right.
Anyway, I had some friends there when it got sold to a large east coast outfit.
The C suite folks made a fucking KILLING on that deal and there were layoffs along the way, of course.
The last thing the executives did when the buyout was finalized and a handful of them were leaving was make a video on site and present it to the company of them singing “So Long, Farewell” from Sound of Music as they walked down the stairs into the lobby and out the front doors.
When I heard that story, I couldn’t even believe it.

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Companies don’t think. People do. This guy thinks he wants a $25million dollar bonus.

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Poor, poor Garg. Fortunately he can buy some 5000 metric tons of plush animals to console himself.

Garg

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Well, hungrier certainly would apply to those no longer in the workforce.

Also, “Better 2.0?” Missed opportunity for “Betterer.” Then the next iteration, when he’s dodged more indictments can be “Bettererer,” then “Beterererer,” etc.

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Delegation? The problem is less zoom and more the single remote meeting. I was once in a layoff where everybody I knew there except two or three people were gone…and yet we were still told one-on-one, because they didn’t want to be worse than the circumstances demanded.

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I just went through this. The answer is through individual Zoom calls with the manager you actually work with every day, as was done at my company.

He didn’t do a 900-person call because it was the only way to do it. He did it because he’s the kind of douchebag that doesn’t want his managers spending a day or two meeting with people who no longer serve any purpose to the company.

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I do think that people that work for a company deserve individual attention when being laid off, but it’s the scope of it that I feel makes it unfeasible.

Let’s say a typical personal “you are laid off” meeting is 10 minutes. Multiply that by 900 and we’re looking at almost 19 days of constant layoff meetings, if done serially.

Now this could/should be delegated but at what level can that be done? Maybe distribute it to 9 division leads at 100 each? That’s still 2 straight days of meetings.

Mind you, any amount of time that’s more than a few hours to maybe a full day will be worse in my mind than any impersonal global call due to the Sword of Damocles hanging over everybody’s head. In a global call, at least everybody hears at once and so there is no pre-stressing about it. Watching (virtually, these days) as your co-workers get the axe one at a time and not knowing if you are next is horrible.

So really, the only way around a big Zoom meeting that is better, in my mind, is if they can somehow delegate it down to maybe 100 managers that can each do up to 9 individual meetings. Could they have done that? Do they even have that many managers? Were the managers on that list? Dunno.

If those 900 people had no direct managers between them and the CEO, then that company was even more screwed up than previously thought.

This, as the kids say.

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Yeah, I agree that would be ideal. I’m still not sure how feasible that is for that many people.

As I originally mentioned, the big “you are furloughed” meeting I attended last year was a global Zoom meeting – it was big and impersonal like that specifically because a significant number of managers and directors and even VPs were on that last. There was no common level of “guaranteed staying” managers below the C-suite.

I’ve seen conflicting numbers on how many employees Better.com actually has to know what percentage of layoffs this is. It does look very possible that this list includes a lot of managers, though. I haven’t seen any articles talking about that, one way or another.

I hate that I’m coming across as maybe defending that douchebag since he doesn’t deserve any part of that. It’s just that the likelihood of an impersonal 900-at-once Zoom meeting being the actual most feasible option seems pretty high to me, here.

And, honestly, with all the horribleness that exudes from that guy, why focus at all on the mass Zoom part of it?

I was at a Fortune 500 company with 70,000+ employees in total. And had survived previous restructurings that were larger than mine. It’s not the number of people. And it doesn’t matter what levels are included.

The way it’s done at a company that cares at all for its people (or at least wants to appear to) is individual meetings with managers and an HR rep to go over the process if it’s complicated. If it’s sufficiently large, they announce VP changes and then meet individually with people in the affected organizations. Sometimes they’re stuck having managers tell people, and then those managers are laid off, but usually they sort out management changes first.

At one of the layoffs I witnessed, yes, it was two to three days of meetings for something like 1,500 people.

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Worse than not having any answers to basic questions until you get a random email from someone in HR?

When is my official last day (in many cases, you’re terminated effective immediately but on payroll until a later date)? When do I become uninsured? Is there any kind of severance? Is there any outplacement support?

And again, it only takes a couple days total, and they work through department by department so you know within an hour of the first notice that whether you’re included or not.

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Yes, I’d much rather know up front, all at once. This goes back to 2010 when the company I was with had a mandatory 10% lay off where each team had to shed 10%. This process took a couple of weeks and it was incredibly demoralizing. It mostly sucked for those that were laid off, certainly, but even those of us who survived had corporate battle shock from the process.

The all-in furlough meeting still was horrid, but it was almost infinitely better than the 2010 individualized cases. You give examples of the company delaying giving out info and yeah, I could see Better.com doing just that… but at least the company I’m with now did the mass meetings like so:

  1. All furloughed employees were on the same call
  2. As soon as the call was ended, we saw an email in our inbox giving more details
  3. The email also had a link to the corporate intranet site with even more details, plus a FAQ page that really did contain answers to clearly frequently asked questions
  4. And finally, there was a special HR hotline different than the normal one, staffed with more people that could answer even more specific questions.
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Garg prefaced the bad news by telling the sacked employees that he cried the last time he had to lay off staff.

Oh, I get it now: tears of joy. That kind of money would get me emotional, too.

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The ceo should be included in the layoffs since it’s also in on the call.

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Moral of the story: Always skip meetings,

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You seem convinced that there are only two ways to do this—a process over multiple weeks, or in an impersonal mass conference call. It doesn’t seem like I or the others who have discussed other options are going to convince you otherwise. But I’ll stand by my statement and the sentiment behind it: A mass call isn’t done because it’s the only feasible way, it’s done because it’s expedient and you want to spend as little time as possible dealing with the laid off people.

You’re defending a company that did this while receiving $750 million in funding a week prior, paid the CEO a $25 million bonus, and will have a billion-dollar balance sheet in the coming weeks. This wasn’t necessary at all, let alone before Christmas over Zoom.

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agreeing kevin corrigan GIF

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