Mortgage

Higher.com’s latest exec on layoffs, CEO Garg and extra

Sushil Sharma.

Sushil Sharma is Better.com’s new chief growth officer, one of a wave of leadership hires as the embattled lender looks to turn the corner on a period of distress.

Sharma, who said he’s been advising CEO Vishal Garg for the past few months out of the firm’s Bay Area office, will lead user acquisition efforts in a role he described as a combination of chief marketing and chief experience officer posts. He is a former chief product officer at LendingTree and at online dating service Match where he helped the company go public, according to Better, which has its own Wall Street aspirations.

Thursday’s hiring announcement arrived in the midst of a tumultuous period for the company, with massive layoff rounds, executive resignations and a federal whistleblower lawsuit among other gaffes making headlines in mainstream press. The high-flying digital lender’s momentum, fueled by the refinance boom, took a gut punch with $303.8 million in losses last year. But Better this week touted a $100 billion in lending milestone.

Better’s new leadership hires in marketing, human resources and real estate divisions, among others, is a comforting sign of maturation, Sharma said. The chief growth officer declined to speak about Better’s pending merger with a special purpose acquisition company but in an interview with National Mortgage News, discussed why he chose Better and whether more layoffs are expected, while also defending Garg’s leadership. 

Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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