A CEO of a US-based company is facing the ire of netizens as he posted a photograph of him crying after laying off employees at his firm. Braden Wallake, founder and CEO of business-to-business marketing company HyperSocial, shared the photo of himself in tears a day ago.
Wallake wrote in the post on LinkedIn, “This will be the most vulnerable thing I’ll ever share.”
Wallake accepted in the post the layoffs were his fault as he blamed a decision he took in February and sticking with it for too long. “Days like today, I wish I was a business owner that was only money-driven and didn’t care about who he hurt along the way. But I’m not. So, I just want people to see, that not every CEO out there is cold-hearted and doesn’t care when he/she have to lay people off,” he wrote.
Wallake’s post got a lot of reactions and more than 6,000 comments. Many netizens questioned the need for posting a selfie and accused the HyperSocial CEO of “emotional manipulation”.
“That selfie, geez. A little restraint might be good,” commented a LinkedIn user.
“I believe this was posted with good intentions, but friend… this literally could not be less about you. Whatever good you’re doing by showing a vulnerable CEO is taking away from the attention and dignity of the people who need it 100X more, those who were laid off,” wrote another.
“As a mental health professional, this post throws up a number of red flags for me. Accountability is great, it’s crucial for any kind of growth and recovery. This, though, is not accountability, but rather emotional manipulation. The selfie is truly a next-level manipulation tactic. I see this sort of behavior among abusive parents who want their children to pity them for the abuse they committed,” shared another person.
In another post, Wallake said his intent was not to make it about himself.
“Hey everyone, yes, I am the crying CEO. No, my intent was not to make it about me or victimize myself. I am sorry it came across that way. It was not my place to out the employees’ names publicly. What I want to do now, is try to make better of this situation and start a thread for people looking for work,” he wrote.