Embattled digital mortgage lender and real estate company Better.com named eight new executives to its C-Suite this week.
Sushil Sharma was named as the company’s first chief growth officer and Steve Riddell as Better’s new head of sales, the firm, which laid off thousands of workers in recent months, said. Sharma brings more than 20 years of experience in product management and software engineering. He previously worked at LendingTree and Match, where he helped the company go public in 2015. Riddell has more than three decades of executive sales experience, including stints at Casper and Blinds.com, which was acquired by Home Depot in 2014.
Other new hires include Ryan Jewison who serves as head of Better Cover, the firm’s digital insurance arm. Before joining Better, Jewison was at companies including US Bank, Doman, and Elavon. Nick Talyor was also named head of Better Real Estate. Taylor spent more than nine years at Zillow in sales and strategy and more than three years at Modus. Taylor replaces Chad Walker, left as head of real estate in June.
The appointments of executives follow a flurry of departures within the company. Most recently, senior executives, including Jilian White, general manager of Better+, Megan Bellingham, senior vice president of sales and operations and John Moffatt, vice president of sales, resigned, TechCrunch reported last month.
In June, Jennifer Pierce, a former executive vice president of customer experience, sales, and operations, sued Better for allegedly misleading investors when it attempted to public via a SPAC. Pierce alleged that Better.com and CEO Garg misrepresented its business so that it could move forward with its SPAC.
Despite all the tumult both at Better and in the public markets, company CEO Vishal Garg still apparently plans to go public. But Aurora Acquisition Corp., the blank check company that Better.com plans to go public via a SPAC, is running out of money. As of March 2022, the company had $36,467 in its operating bank account and a working capital deficit of more than $7 million dollars, according to a 10-Q filing from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May.
Better.com did not respond to requests for comments on its plans to go public.
Aurora was expected to finalize its merger with Better by the end of 2021. But the third amendment to the merger agreement from May 2021 extended the deadline for calling off Better’s SPAC merger from February 12 to September 30, 2022.
Better, which reported a loss of $303.8 million last year, has laid off more than 4,000 employees since December. The company’s chief executive officer Vishal Garg gained infamy in December when he laid off 900 employees in a Zoom meeting and then criticized the departing employees to remaining workers. In March, Better laid off more than 3,000 workers in India and an undisclosed number of employees in April.
Other recent appointees at Better incude Brian Ro, who was appointed as vice president of people after leading rewards and compensation strategy at Deloitte, Chekr, and GoPuff for 16 years. Josh Durodola was promoted to head of Better Services. Jennifer Malin was named vice president of enterprise risk. Nitin Bhutani was hired as vice president of marketing.