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Online mortgage lender Better on Tuesday said it is laying off more of its workforce, months after the company’s chief executive drew criticism for firing 900 employees over a Zoom call.

Better plans to let go of 35% of its workforce, which is just over 3,000 employees, according to a WSJ report.

“We must take the difficult step of streamlining our operations further and reducing our workforce in both the U.S. and India in a substantial way," Kevin Ryan, chief financial officer and interim president of Better.com, wrote in a letter sent to employees and posted to its website Tuesday.

The layoffs come as a result of headwinds affecting the residential real-estate market, Ryan said.

Ryan said in the letter Tuesday that affected Better.com employees would be contacted in the coming days by a member of the company’s leadership team. The company, which is backed by SoftBank Group Corp., will offer a minimum of 60 days severance pay as well as extended medical insurance coverage for U.S. employees, Ryan said.

“We are doing everything possible to personally reach all employees whose jobs will be eliminated to discuss this with them first," Ryan said.

Vishal Garg, founder and chief executive of Better.com, came under fire in December after a video of him laying off 900 workers on a Zoom call drew criticism online. In the video, Mr. Garg described the difficult decision to fire hundreds of employees due to market changes, calling participants on the Zoom call “part of the unlucky group that is being laid off."

The founder apologized for how he handled the layoffs and took time off between December and January.

“I own the decision to do the layoffs, but in communicating it I blundered the execution," Mr. Garg wrote in a letter posted on Better.com’s website in December. “In doing so, I embarrassed you."

He returned to his job in mid-January. The online lender’s board of directors at the time said Mr. Garg had worked with an executive coach during his break.

 

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