The embattled boss of online mortgage lender Better.com revealed he is working with an executive coach to improve as a leader — less than a year after he achieved infamy by firing 900 employees over Zoom.
Better CEO Vishal Garg was adamant that he’s still the right leader for the struggling company during an interview with Insider that took place in August and was published on Tuesday.
The outlet reported that Garg has met “more regularly” with an executive coach over the last several months in a bid to improve his leadership skills – and avoid the type of incidents that led him to become an Internet pariah last December.
“I would regularly tell my team that I think I’m the right founder for this company,” Garg told the outlet. “I think I’m the right leader for this company. But do I know how to be the CEO of a 10,000-person company?”
Garg also admitted his inexperience as a manager during the interview.
“To be absolutely blunt, I’d never managed more than 10 people in my life,” Garg added.
Garg went viral last December after footage of the now-infamous Zoom layoffs circulated on social media platforms. Aside from abruptly laying off 900 employees, Garg accused at least 250 of the fired workers of “stealing” from the company through lack of productivity.
The Better.com boss took a leave of absence after his layoffs sparked a near-universal public backlash. But he returned as CEO just weeks later, with Better’s board of directors asserting that he had taken the time away to “reflect on his leadership.” The board’s memo also noted he would “work closely with an executive coach.”
Garg apologized in the immediate aftermath of his remarks and reiterated during the interview that he had mishandled the situation.
“Obviously, I blundered the execution of some of the downsizing,” Garg told Insider, adding that he has a “penchant for putting my foot in my mouth.”
In the interview with Insider, Garg noted that he did not make any remarks in companywide meetings for months after he returned from his leave of absence.
Garg also referred to Better as his “life’s work” and was adamant he is the right person to run the company as it contends with a major housing correction — driven by a surge in mortgage rates that has sapped demand among homebuyers.
Better has experienced more hiccups since Garg returned to the C-suite.
In March, Better officials acknowledged mishandling a fresh round of layoffs after some workers learned they were out after receiving severance checks ahead of schedule.
In April, a separate video leak of a meeting that took place immediately after the layoffs showed the frustrated boss admitting Better had “pissed away $200 million” by over-hiring.
Better is also embroiled in a legal battle with its former sales chief, Sarah Pierce, who alleged in a lawsuit that Garg intentionally misled investors about the company’s performance. The suit also alleged that Garg once boasted Better’s sales would improve because “President Biden would die of COVID.”
Better later fired back in a court filing of its own, accusing Pierce of slacking off at work and mismanaging the business before quitting in February.
Insider said that Garg seemingly “alluded to Pierce’s lawsuit” during his interview and described the allegations as “baseless.”
The Post has reached out to Better.com for comment on the interview.