Mortgage

Garg returns to Higher.com and guarantees change

Vishal Garg is returning to the CEO position at Better.com just five weeks after stepping down temporarily following the controversy surrounding the laying off of 900 employees in early December.

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

"I am deeply sorry for the anxiety, distraction and embarrassment my actions have caused," said an email Garg sent to employees at the firm, verified by National Mortgage News. "I've spent a lot of time thinking about where we are as a company and what kind of leadership Better needs…and what kind of leader I want to be."

This includes becoming more aware of the effect of his words on people. Garg has faced criticism, not only for the language used in the Zoom call and afterwards about those who have been made redundant, but also for other previous comments regarding his staff's skills.

"As many know, I am direct in my communications, but too often I have not chosen my words carefully enough," Garg said. "I have expressed my feelings in the heat of the moment without paying enough attention to the effect they might have on colleagues."

He committed to being more thoughtful and communicating more effectively.

Garg said he will place more trust in the people who help run Better.

In a separate email sent out announcing Garg's return, Better's board of directors said the company is also looking for a new chairman, president and chief human resources officer.

Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ryan, who ran Better on a daily basis in Garg's absence, was named interim president.

In addition, Richard Benson-Armer, a partner at Activant Capital and a former senior partner at McKinsey, is the interim CHRO.

In addition, the company established an internal Ethics and Compliance Committee, chaired by Paula Tuffin, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, who reports directly to Better's Board of Directors.

Meanwhile, two existing directors, including Raj Date, managing partner of Fenway Summer and former assistant director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, are leaving the board. The other director who stepped down is Dinesh Chopra, chief strategy and corporate development officer at Ally.

"While we do not comment on individuals' decisions to leave the board, Raj and Dinesh did not resign over disagreements with Better," the board's memo said.

Prabhu Narasimhan, chief investment officer of Aurora Acquisition, the special purpose vehicle merging with Better, will join the board when the transaction closes. Aurora has the right to nominate an additional director.

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