The US mortgage firm Better sacked 900 workers in a video meeting. It’s time to entrust such tricky human resources tasks to artificial beings
There is no right way to fire someone, but there is a wrong way to fire 900 people. On Wednesday 1 December, Vishal Garg, the chief executive of Better, an American mortgage provider, convened a Zoom meeting of 900 employees. We don’t know what they expected. Perhaps a Christmas quiz. It wasn’t to be.
“I come to you with not great news,” Garg began. “I do not want to do this. The last time I did it, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger.” Everyone was rooting for him. “If you’re on this call,” he continued, “you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately.” Merry Christmas. Don’t let the laptop screen hit your hand on the way down.