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Less than a month later lay off 3,000 employeesdigital mortgage lender Better.com is offering its corporate, product, design and engineering employees 60 days of paid severance or voluntary separation plans and health insurance coverage “to anyone who wants it,” according to multiple sources familiar with the developments. internal in the company.
Better.com executives cited current mortgage markets for the move in an email to employees. Eligible employees will receive an email later today with the ability to agree to voluntary separation. The last day for employees under 40 to accept the offer is April 15, and employees over 40 will have up to 21 days to accept the offer, according to an email from the company obtained by TechCrunch.
Additionally, those sources said the company is losing “about $50 million a month,” citing a recent internal meeting where the figure was released. Better.com has scheduled a public meeting for all employees to take place today.
TechCrunch has reached out to the company for comment, but had not yet responded at the time of this writing.
Since December, the company has made two mass layoffs. The manner in which they were conducted is believed to have severely tarnished their reputation, in addition to market conditions, such as rising interest rates and a colder refinancing market, which affected their business prospects.
First, on December 1, Better.com laid off about 900 employees via a Zoom video call that ended up going viral. CEO and co-founder Vishal Garg was universally criticized for being cold and insensitive in his approach. He also added salt to the wound days later. publicly accusing affected workers of “stealing” their colleagues and clients by being unproductive.
Besides that, just one day beforeCFO Kevin Ryan emailed employees saying the company would have $1 billion on its balance sheet by the end of that week. In the weeks after the firings, Garg “apologized” and took a month-long “rest,” employees detailed how he “steered out of fear,” and several 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 delivered severance payment receipts too early.” Many workers reported that they initially found out when they saw a severance check in their Workday accounts, the company’s payroll software. When executives realized their mistake, those employees said, they deleted checks from some people’s Workday accounts. According to an affected employee who wished to remain anonymous, the severance checks arrived without any further communication from the company.
Below is the email that Richard Benson-Armer, director of people, performance and culture at Better, sent the company this afternoon a summary of the voluntary separation program obtained by TechCrunch:
As many of you know, the uncertain mortgage market conditions of the last few weeks have created an extremely challenging operating environment for many companies in our industry. This requires many of them to make difficult decisions to keep their businesses. Despite ongoing efforts to streamline our operations and ensure a strong path forward for the company, Better is no exception.
For that reason, we are announcing a voluntary separation program for many US-based Better employees in Corporate and PDE who are level 10 and below. The offer is for 60 business days of severance and health insurance coverage for those who leave the company.
Sometime later today, eligible employees will receive an email and a separation agreement offer with the terms that apply to them individually. Eligible employees who wish 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 15. They will also receive their final payment on this date.
Employees age 40 and older will have up to 21 days to accept the offer. Those who sign the separation agreement on or before Wednesday will have one last day at Better on the Friday of that week, with final payment on that date. Those who sign the agreement on a Thursday or Friday will have a last day at Better on the Friday of the following week, with final payment on that date.
Access to the Better system will be disabled shortly after the signing of the agreement, in accordance with the best practices and financial, legal and security regulations for our industry. Departing employees should ensure that their personal email and mailing address are up to date in Workday.
As always, compliance with our Code of Conduct and Employee Handbook will be enforced throughout this process.
While this voluntary separation exercise is difficult, we remain confident of the strong road ahead for Better. Given the headwinds facing our industry, collaboration and innovation, the hallmarks on which Better built its success, will be more essential than ever. For that reason, we expect to return to in-office mode in the coming weeks, with reexamined RTO policies.
Better has a tremendous future ahead of it, based on the spirit that made us so successful in the first place. That includes a culture that rewards high performance and excellent customer service. I look forward to sharing more information about it in the coming weeks.
Thank you for all you do to serve our customers and support this business. We remain steadfast in our commitment to making homeownership simpler, faster, and more affordable for all Americans.