Braden Wallake, the chief executive officer of an Ohio-based marketing agency HyperSocial, was slammed on social media after he posted a crying selfie as he fired employees from his firm. Wallake's selfie, dubbed as 'cringeworthy', came along with a lengthy note outlining the reasons for the layoffs.
As per agency's LinkedIn profile, HyperSocial was founded in 2019 and had up to 50 employees.
Wallake Says Lay Offs Result of His 'Faulty Decision'
"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," read the post. Admitting that the layoffs were due to his faulty decisions taken in February, the CEO said that he stuck with that decision for far too long.
"Now, I know my team will say that 'we made that decision together,' but I lead us into it," he wrote. "And because of those failings, I had to do today, the toughest thing I've ever had to do. We've always been a people first business. And we always will be."
"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. 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. 1 or 2 or 3 that would still be here if better decisions had been made," the post went on.
Was It a Publicity Stunt by the CEO?
The post which quickly appeared on multiple other social media platforms led to many users believing it to be a publicity stunt by Wallake.
"Why don't you cut your salary or don't take one until the company is back where you need it to be? I mean, if you really cared about your employees and the hardship you just dropped on them," wrote a user. "Are you being serious here?! Perhaps you think all publicity is good publicity," read another comment.
"Linkedin Content Strategy: Braden Wallake, CEO of HyperSocial and HyperSphere, who is a "5x College Dropout," is a genius. He needed content that would get him empathy despite being a reckless employer and terminating "1 or 2 or 3." "TEARS," tweeted a user.
"Braden Wallake...some small online marketing company. Less than 20 employees and he laid off 2 of them based upon the reporting. If you were ever going to call a guy a Beta, he would be a textbook example," opined a user.