In less than a month dismissal of 3,000 employeesdigital mortgage lender Better.com offers its corporate, grocery, design and engineering staff a 60-day weekend payout, or voluntary divorce plans, and health insurance for “anyone who wants it,” according to several sources familiar with the company’s internal events.
Executives at Better.com refer to current mortgage markets to switch emails to employees. Eligible employees will receive an email later today with the opportunity to accept a voluntary separation. The last day for employees under the age of 40 to accept the offer is April 15, and employees under the age of 40 or older will have up to 21 days to accept the offer, according to an email from the company received by TechCrunch.
In addition, these sources said the company was losing “about $ 50 million a month,” citing a recent internal meeting at which that figure was revealed. Better.com has scheduled a town hall meeting for all staff to be held today.
TechCrunch asked the company for comment, but at the time of writing it has not yet responded.
The company has held two mass layoffs since December. It is believed that the way they are conducted has severely damaged its reputation, in addition to market conditions such as rising interest rates and a colder refinancing market that have affected the business outlook.
First, on December 1, Better.com fired about 900 employees through a Zoom video call that eventually went viral. CEO and co-founder Vishal Garg has been widely criticized for his cold and callous approach. He also added insults to injuries a few days later, publicly blaming the injured workers “Steal” from their colleagues and customers, being unproductive.
Plus, just one day before, CFO Kevin Ryan sent an email to employees informing them that by the end of this week the company’s balance sheet will be $ 1 billion. Within weeks of his dismissal, Garg “apologized” and took a month-long “break,” staffers described in detail how he was “driven by fear,” and a number of top executives and two board members resigned.
Then, on March 8, the company laid off about 3,000 of the remaining 8,000 employees in the US and India and “accidentally released severance pay slips too early”. Many employees reported that they initially learned by seeing a severance check in their Workday accounts – payroll software used by the company. When executives realized their mistake, these employees said, they deleted checks from some people’s Workday accounts. According to one of the injured employees, who wished to remain anonymous, the checks on arrival arrived without additional contact with the company.
Below is an email that Richard Benson-Armer, chief executive of Better, director of performance and culture, sent to the company this afternoon with a description of the voluntary sharing program received by TechCrunch:
As many of you know, the uncertain conditions of the mortgage market over the past few weeks have created extremely difficult conditions for many companies in our industry. This requires many of them to make difficult decisions to support their business. Despite constant efforts to streamline our operations and provide a strong way forward for the company, Better is no exception.
For this reason, we are announcing a voluntary separation program for many American Better employees in Corporate and PDE who have levels 10 and below. The offer provides severance pay and health insurance for 60 business days for those who leave the company.
At some point later today, the relevant staff will receive an email and a division proposal with conditions that apply to them separately. Employees who are eligible and willing to accept the agreement can sign it through Workday.
Employees under the age of 40 will have up to seven days from receipt of the agreement to accept the offer. The last day at Better for those who accept the offer will be Friday, April 15th. They will also receive their final payment on that date.
Employees who are 40 years of age or older will have up to 21 days to accept the offer. Those who sign the division agreement on Wednesday or earlier will have their last day at Better on Friday of that week with final payment on that date. Those who sign the agreement on Thursday or Friday will have their last day at Better on Friday next week with final payment on that date.
Access to the Better system will be disabled shortly after signing the agreement in accordance with the best financial, legal methods and security rules for our industry. Employees who leave need to make sure their personal email address and mailing address are updated on Workday.
As always, our Code of Conduct and Employee Guidelines will be followed throughout this process.
Despite the fact that this voluntary separation is difficult, we are still confident of a strong path to the best. Given the challenges facing our industry, collaboration and innovation – the hallmarks on which Better has built its success – will be more necessary than ever. For this reason, we look forward to returning to the regime in the office in the coming weeks with the revised RTO politicians.
Ahead of Better awaits a huge future built on the spirit that made us so successful in the first place. This includes a culture that rewards high performance and excellent customer service. I look forward to sharing more information on this in the coming weeks.
Thank you for everything you do to serve our customers and support this business. We continue to work hard to make home ownership easier, faster, and more affordable for all Americans.