“Prudent and necessary”: More layoffs at Better.com

Cuts come just days after company floated voluntary resignations

National /
Apr.April 19, 2022 01:30 PM

From left: Richard Benson-Armer, chief people, performance and culture officer, Better.com; Vishal Garg, CEO, Better.com (Activant Capital, Better.com, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Better.com tried to convince some of its employees to leave earlier this month. So it likely wasn’t a surprise when the company ended up pushing those who didn’t jump.

The online mortgage startup sent around a memo on Tuesday announcing a “substantial cut” to the company’s workforce, the Wall Street Journal reported. The exact number of employees to get the ax couldn’t be confirmed, but employees affected by the layoffs include members of the sales team, real estate business and mortgage operations.

“This is not the measure we wanted to take,” Richard Benson-Armer, Better.com’s chief people, performance and culture officer, wrote in the memo. “But, this is both prudent and necessary for the health of our business.”

Unlucky employees aren’t walking away empty-handed. Laid-off workers will receive between 60 and 80 days of severance pay, as well as health coverage through the end of July, according to the Journal.

That’s more or less in line with what the company was reportedly offering in its voluntary separation plans earlier this month. The startup reportedly offered up plans that entitled employees to as much as 60 days of severance and health insurance.

Better.com’s headcount after the latest round of layoffs — the second in as many months — is unclear, but employee numbers seem to be dwindling quickly at the company, which was founded in 2016 as a “digital-first homeownership company,” offering mortgage, title and homeowners insurance services.

Last month, the New York-based company laid off 3,000 workers in the United States and India, reducing its headcount by more than a third. Some of those laid off in that round reportedly learned of cuts before they were announced after Better.com accidentally rolled out severance payments prematurely.

In December, CEO Vishal Garg took a leave of absence after firing more than 900 employees via Zoom, accusing some in an anonymous online post of being unproductive and stealing from the company.

The handling of those layoffs triggered an internal review and led to the resignations of several executives.

The faltering mortgage industry was cited in the memo as one reason for the latest round of layoffs. In recent weeks, mortgage rates have been climbing to their highest level since the pandemic began, leading to a drop in mortgage applications.

Better.com isn’t alone. Movement Mortgage recently laid off around 170 employees, largely in the processing, underwriting and closing departments. Interactive Mortgage and Freedom Mortgage also recently reduced staff.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Eric Gordon
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    27 Vandam Street, Hudson Square (Compass, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
    Hudson Square townhouse in contract at $15M could break neighborhood record
    Hudson Square townhouse in contract at $15M could break neighborhood record
    Silverback's Josh Schuster and Hopson's Chu Mang Yee with rendering of the project at 131-141 East 47th Street (LinkedIn, Getty, Ismael Leyva Architects)
    Schuster out as Hopson borrows $156M for Midtown tower
    Schuster out as Hopson borrows $156M for Midtown tower
    Mayor of New York City Eric Adams (iStock/Adams via Paul Dilakian)
    Mayor proposes restoring unstaffed voucher discrimination unit
    Mayor proposes restoring unstaffed voucher discrimination unit
    Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka in front of 2036 Fifth Avenue (Getty Images, Google Maps)
    Neil Patrick Harris sells Harlem brownstone in neighborhood record
    Neil Patrick Harris sells Harlem brownstone in neighborhood record
    Darien First Selectman Monica McNally and Great Island in Darien, Connecticut (Darien Republicans, Google Maps)
    Fairfield County town nears private island purchase for over $100M
    Fairfield County town nears private island purchase for over $100M
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...