A former underwriter at Better.com (valued at $6.9 billion) is one of the people who was recently fired on a Zoom call. The sole provider of a family-of-7 is trying to look for the bright side after being terminated.

When Christian Chapman connected with Better.com Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vishal Garg on a Zoom call on Dec. 1, he didn't know it would be his last one as an employee of the online mortgage company, reported CNN. During a one-way webinar, which lasted three minutes, Garg said that the ones who were part of the call were being laid off. After they were told that their employment had been "terminated effective immediately," the call ended abruptly, leaving Chapman dumbfounded. He was used to outbursts from his boss, but the termination was unexpected.

He started messaging in company channels to know what was going on but then his screens went black, and he lost access to his company computer, email, messaging and phone. To reach out to his colleagues, he used Facebook Messenger. The CEO had promised a follow-up email from the human resources team, so Chapman received the communication via his personal email hours later.

Chapman, who has worked in the mortgage business for almost two decades, called it a "surreal moment," and said, "It was one of those things that you don't believe it's going to happen."

He is one of the 900 employees who had been laid off by the company that ranked number one on LinkedIn's Top Startups of 2021 and 2020. Chapman said that he had recently finished a positive performance review call with his manager at the company where the CEO apparently drops F-bombs in virtual meetings. Chapman said that he realized after his first meeting that he needed to keep it on mute and keep his earphones in because he has got five children and he didn't want them hearing "that kind of language."

He said that so far, he has faced four layoffs at different mortgage companies, but none of them was as "obtuse and dispassionate" as the latest one. He is now "looking for the bright side," but he understands that "there's the reality of the situation." He said that things aren't going to be what they were and it's going to require "some massive action" on his part.

The day before the employees were terminated, the company announced it got $750 million in cash as part of a deal with investors.

The CEO reportedly accused the fired employees of "stealing" from their customers and colleagues by working for only two hours a day and being unproductive. Another former employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that he got promoted, and then the CEO was out there trying to "portray everyone as lazy and stealing money." The action taken by the CEO was a "messed up" one, according to the former employee.

According to Tech Crunch, Garg seemed to have realized that what he did was wrong and so, he decided to apologize to his current employees. In a letter to the employees that was reportedly leaked by a Better employee, the CEO apologized for the way he handled the layoff news.

He reportedly wrote that he "failed" to show the appropriate amount of appreciation and respect for those who were affected and for their contributions to the company. He wrote, "I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution. In doing so, I embarrassed you.”

Zoom call
Garg made the brutal and immediate termination announcement during a hasty Zoom call that lasted about three minutes on Dec. 1. This is a representational image. Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

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