A CEO who posted a crying selfie after laying off his employees was lambasted online.
People called him out for "disingenuous histrionics" and for making his employees' personal crises all about himself.
Braden Wallake—CEO of B2B Marketing company HyperSocial which specializes in optimizing LinkedIn posts–declared his post would be "the most vulnerable thing I'll ever share." While his post said Wallake made the layoffs, additional information added later said layoffs were made on a call with Emily Chucta, the COO of HyperSocial.
You can see his full LinkedIn post here:
His "self-indulgent" post generated over 7,000 comments on LinkedIn.
Most were either job offers for the laid-off employees or negative feedback for Wallake.
Wallake didn't fare much better on Reddit.
Many social media users were not convinced of his dramatic mea culpa.
"I've cried more real tears by drinking a carbonated drink and burping with my mouth closed," wrote one Redditor.
One LinkedIn user wrote:
"This post with crying selfie is just cringe in so many levels."
"So you admit you made a bad decision and now instead of taking responsibility and eating the hit yourself, you're letting go of workers who put their trust into you then throwing yourself a pity party on LinkedIn expecting sympathy for YOU when YOU have prioritized your own needs over your workers, literally proving your business is NOT a 'people first' business.
"Posting a sad crying pic does not undo the harm and if anything it just communicates that you're not above emotionally manipulating people in order to garner sympathy for your own terrible management."
"It isn't JUST heartless, it's abusive and you should be ashamed."
The CEO's post did little to invalidate assumptions about unsympathetic executives.
This LinkedIn user wrote:
"Fake emotions for likes and exposure. Now i not only think most CEO’s are merely cold-hearted but actually full blown narcissistic psychopaths."
"Thanks for the eye opener."
And this individual had a question for the CEO.
"So how much did you cut your own salary before you started f'king up other people's lives?"
The criticism carried over on Twitter, many of which had unfavorable things to say about LinkedIn.
After Wallake was accused of making the post about himself with less emphasis on his employees, he wrote an apology post, saying:
“My intent was not to make it about me or victimize myself. I am sorry it came across that way.”
Wallake's crying selfie post remains on his LinkedIn page.
He said he didn't remove it because "I am getting countless messages from other business owners saying, ‘love this, been there, worst feeling, right there with you'."