One of Better.com’s former executives has filed a lawsuit against the online mortgage lender, alleging that the company and its CEO Vishal Garg deceived investors when it attempted to go public through a SPAC, the reports Wall Street Journal.
Sarah Pierce previously served as Executive Vice President of Customer Experience, Sales and Operations at Better.com part with the company earlier this year. At the time, it wasn’t clear if she was leaving voluntarily or being asked to resign, but Pierce says now in her suit, she was pushed out.
In her lawsuit filed today, Pierce alleges that Better.com misrepresented its business and prospects in order for it to continue with a, according to The Wall Street Journal SPAC that would have given the company a post-money equity value of about $7.7 billion. The SPAC was delayed and has not yet taken place.
Their complaint, the Journal reports, alleges that both Garg and Betters’ “treatment of them constituted unlawful retaliation, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
At the time of her departure in February, TechCrunch reported that Pierce — according to sources familiar with internal workings at the company — was trying to lobby for the hundreds of employees the company fired in December after the CEO publicly labeled them as such referred to as lazy and unproductive. This reportedly caused “a lot of tension” between her and Garg and the board. Pierce was reportedly upset at how Garg publicly belittled the employees, most of whom later reported to her callously dismissing them via Zoom.
TechCrunch has reached out to Better.com and Pierce and will update this story if either of them comment.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the lawsuit told TechCrunch that Garg “always exaggerated” the company’s numbers and “didn’t listen” to Pierce or other executives when they raised concerns. Pierce, the source said, was allegedly pushed out of the company for voicing her concerns.
According to the S-4 filed by Aurora Acquisition Corp., the company with which Better.com was slated to merge, Pierce earned $856,061 last year, received a $1 million bonus and received stock options in Totaling $17.37 million.
Corresponding forbes, this is not the first time a female executive has accused the company of inappropriate behavior. The company in April 2021 put former Chief Product Officer Elana Kollner on administrative leave following allegations of bullying and other workplace grievances.
The company has consistently made headlines for the past six months. December 1, 2021 Better.com around 900 employees laid off via a Zoom video call that went viral. It was hardly the first company to fire employees over Zoom during a global pandemic. But it was the way it was handled that offended so many.
Co-founder Garg was widely criticized for his cold and callous approach. Days later, he added insult to the injury public accusation of affected workers “Stealing” colleagues and customers by being unproductive.
Besides, only one day beforeCFO Kevin Ryan emailed employees saying the company had done so $1 billion on the balance sheet until the end of this week. In the weeks following the layoffs, Garg “he apologized‘ and lasted for a month’interruption.” In the meantime, Staff explained how he “guided by fear‘ and a number of executives and two board members resigned.
Then, on March 8th, the company laid off an estimated 3,000 of its remaining 8,000 employees in the USA and India and “accidentally rolled out the severance pay statements too early”.
That was revealed in a file in April Better.com swung to a loss of more than 300 million dollars last yeara sharp turnaround from a profitable 2020. Garg is also the target of multiple lawsuits from PIMCO, Goldman Sachs, and other investors involving companies he controls.
TechCrunch has been contacted by a number of parties over the past few months, including customers saying they lost money when the company screwed up their financial statements, former employees saying they didn’t receive stock options that were owed to them, and still others who say they can’t collect unemployment because Better reportedly didn’t pay the appropriate taxes.
Former Better.com exec alleges company misled investors ahead of SPAC – TechCrunch Source link Former Better.com exec alleges company misled investors ahead of SPAC – TechCrunch