After announcing layoffs at his company, a CEO of a marketing agency Hypersocial, Braden Wallake, posted a selfie on LinkedIn of himself crying, which generated a heated online discussion. Since then, the post has gotten more than 6,700 comments and almost 33,000 replies.
WATCH THE CRYING CEO VIDEO:
“This will be the most vulnerable thing I’ll ever share. I’ve gone back and forth whether to post this or not. We just had to layoff a few of our employees. I’ve seen a lot of layoffs over the last few weeks on LinkedIn. Most of those are due to the economy, or whatever other reason. Ours? My fault.” Wallake wrote.
The sobbing man explained that the decision regarding the layoffs was made in February. However, he didn’t explain the reasons behind this decision. He explained that laying people off was the “toughest thing” he had to do in his career. He moved on to emphasize that he loved the people that used to work for him and that he was “a business owner that was only money driven and didn’t care about who he hurt along the way.”
Some LinkedIn users made fun of Wallake, labeling him “out of touch” and “cringe-worthy,” and they advised him to concentrate on assisting his former workers instead of how the issue had affected him, reported CNBC.
“Please. Laying off people is horrific for you, but more horrific for them. It’s about taking care of their welfare, not griefposting for your own likes. This is ungracious, gratuitous, insensitive and tacky. Grow up, look after those people who you claim to be so worried about, own your mistakes privately and stop being so narcissistic,” one person wrote.
Others complimented Wallake’s openness and defended him, saying they recognized the emotional nature of the issue. Noah Smith, a former employee of Wallake’s, defended his former employer and claimed that he would only want to work for managers who shared his values. “To those who would look to hire me, I’m only interested in working for people like Braden Wallake who has a positive outlook on life. I’m not interested in working for you if you think working more hours ONLY to make more money is the most valuable way to spend your time.”
Wallake’s follow-up post said “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,” he noted. “What I want to do now, is try to make better of this situation and start a thread for people looking for work.”
According to André Spicer, an organizational behavior professor at Bayes Business School, the post is not surprising given contemporary management practices. “It’s a trend, CEOs and leaders have been encouraged to be authentic and bring their real selves to work,” Spicer said. “It’s showing your real emotions and real reactions and people are kind of encouraged to display this through a lot of current management thinking … so it’s not surprising.”