Diane Yu, CTO of Better.com, is transitioning from her position as chief technology officer to an advisory role a day after the digital mortgage lender announced a voluntary separation program to certain employees, according to an internal memo obtained by TechCrunch.
She will remain an “advisor” to the company, which will give her “more flexibility to spend more time with her family and additional time in Hong Kong,” according to the internal memo, which is signed by CEO Vishal Garg.
Yu joined Better.com in January 2021 to lead the startup’s engineering and technical strategy. She previously led engineering as CTO at Comcast for its Advanced Advertising Group. At the time, the company was at its peak, saying that it was underwriting $3 billion per month in mortgage loans and that it had hired over 4,000 employees since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 — a 10-month period.
Over the past year, though, the number of refinancings declined significantly and home sales also took a dip in the face of rising mortgage interest rates. Since December 1, 2021, the company has laid off more than 4,100 employees. On April 5, Better.com offered corporate and product, design and engineering employees the opportunity to voluntarily resign in exchange for 60 days of paid severance and health insurance coverage.
On April 7, Yu referenced the voluntary separation program on LinkedIn but did not directly mention her decision:
“I am reaching out to my network to let you know that some of Better’s great engineers will sign up for this program due to their own personal situations. If you are in need of hiring engineering talents, please leave your contact information in the comments below, or reach out to me directly.”
Yu’s departure adds to the many questions surrounding the company’s fate. Without a technology head, and with engineering staff being offered voluntary exit packages, it’s not clear in which direction it plans to take its business moving forward.
TechCrunch reached out to Yu for comment but had not heard back at the time of writing.
Reporter’s note: The headline and lead paragraph were updated post-publication to more accurately reflect Yu’s transition.
My weekly fintech newsletter is launching soon! Sign up here to get it in your inbox.