Leadership Communication and Employee Layoffs

Leadership Communication and Employee Layoffs
Case Code: HROB231
Case Length: 09 Pages
Period: 2016-2022
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Better.com
Industry: Real Estate
Countries: United States
Themes: Leadership & Values, Leadership Style, Corporate Governance,Ethical Leadership
Leadership Communication and Employee Layoffs
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case describes the leadership approach of Vishal Garg (Garg), founder and CEO of Better.com (Better). The case focuses on Garg’s nonchalant approach toward employees and his aggressive emphasis on performance and productivity that created a harsh environment for employees. He had fired employees over a Zoom call and did not attempt to take an empathetic approach to the lay-off communication.

The case then highlights Garg’s temperamental leadership style and approach to layoffs that led to various repercussions including attrition among many senior level employees and two board members. The board, however, continued to support Garg and stated that he was critical to its operations and was key to setting its vision, strategic direction and execution priorities.

The company planned to go public and was backed by investors and the board who felt that the layoffs were necessary to improve the company’s financial position and give it a good chance of a successful IPO. This leads to the question of whether empathetic leadership coupled with humility is better than an arrogant cutthroat attitude when it comes to managing financial and human capital in the lead to a startup going public.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Recognize the need for the founder to ensure that the quest for rapid company growth does not dilute the culture of trust and confidence of employees.
  • Explain the importance of effective communication in managing layoffs.



Leadership Style; Leadership Behavior; Corporate Governance; Leader-Member Exchange theory; Ethical Leadership; Employee Morale

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