A crying selfie of Braden Wallake, who is the CEO of HyperSocial, has been doing the rounds on the internet. The CEO has been counterfeited for this peculiar act by netizens after he uploaded this selfie on his LinkedIn account. The “crying” selfie was a reaction to the recent layoffs at his company. The company works on “optimizing the LinkedIn posts” and, according to Wallake, the recent period of recession has compelled him to make this emotional decision. However, the post has received 29,000 likes so far with multiple responses from the public. Some supported him in this decision, while many others mocked him, calling it a “cringe picture” and saying that he should take responsibility in the real sense of the word instead of just showing it.
On Tuesday, Wallake wrote a caption for his crying selfie in which he stated, “This will be the most vulnerable thing I’ll ever share. I’ve gone back and forth on whether to post this or not. We just had to lay off 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.”
He continued, “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. I’m sure there are hundreds and thousands of others like me. The ones you don’t see talked about. Because they didn’t lay off 50 or 500 or 5000 employees. They laid off 1 or 2 or 3…that would still be here if better decisions had been made.”
One of the users named Victoria Boadiwah commented, “A truly empathetic and compassionate person” would never think of posting a crying selfie to their followers. “All optics and theatrics. A shame.” Not only this, another user named Daniel K. asked in the comments section, “Why not decrease your own salary/overall comp to keep your employees? There’s a difference between saying you take responsibility and acting like it.”
To these harsh comments, Wallake responded by saying, “I’ve lived well below my means, and my partner is much better at saving than I am.” “You realize that was a small donation made on my behalf as a birthday present to me? We don’t have a Sea Otter running around our van.” Moreover, another commentator claimed that Wallake is just trying to gain sympathy by posting it with a crying face. The user said, “Your post is still all about you, *your* feelings, and how these layoffs impacted YOU.”
On the other hand, a senior marketing strategist, Jonathan Jacobs wrote, “It’s incredibly powerful of you to be vulnerable and put your feelings out there. Hopefully, people can take something away from that, and hopefully, we’ll see more of that, especially from men in positions of power.” Contradicting these views, one of the users, Jamie Feldman, stated, “Braden, I’m not sure if this is remotely fixable at this point, but the way you went about it was completely wrong (if this post was sincerely meant to support those you laid off rather than highlighting how difficult this was for you and you are a good guy). My suggestion…add a new post.”