Last weekend, the CEO of Better.com laid off 900 people, nearly 10% of his workforce.
This is certainly not the first big layoff we’ve seen during the pandemic. However, it was highly unusual to do this kind of layoff in a 3-minute Zoom meeting that told people if you’re on this call, you’re the unlucky person being laid off–so long.
This is not a company in financial trouble–they have nearly $1 billion in funding. It’s also not a company known to be kind to its people–former employees talk about previous rude emails from the CEO berating them for being slow and as stupid as dolphins (which is strange–since dolphins are one of the smarter mammals in the sea).
He did apologize for the manner in which he handled this–telling people he was sorry if he embarrassed them. Talk about tone deaf! It was not the people on the receiving end of this who should have been embarrassed!
Sometimes it’s necessary to deliver bad news to your staff. Most of us have been laid off at least once. Stuff happens. But we all remember how we were treated–with respect and dignity, or like excess inventory that has to be jettisoned as quickly as possible.
Perhaps the company name should be changed to wecandobetter.com. Certainly, the rest of us can do better than this in the future.
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