CEO of company shares tearful selfie of ‘lowest moment’ after having to lay off staff

Jess Hardiman

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CEO of company shares tearful selfie of ‘lowest moment’ after having to lay off staff

Featured Image Credit: LinkedIn / Stephen Dwyer / Alamy

The CEO of a company has shared a tearful selfie illustrating his ‘lowest moment’ after having to lay off staff, having admitted it was all his ‘fault’. 

Braden Wallake, CEO and founder of US-based B2B agency HyperSocial, took to LinkedIn to speak about the ‘failings’ on his part that led to the ‘toughest’ thing he’s ever had to do. 

“This will be the most vulnerable thing I'll ever share,” he said, adding that he’d ‘gone back and forth’ on whether or not to post it. 

“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. I made a decision in February and 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. And because of those failings, I had to do today, the toughest thing I've ever had to do.” 

Braden Wallake's tearful selfie. Credit: LinkedIn/Braden Wallake
Braden Wallake's tearful selfie. Credit: LinkedIn/Braden Wallake

Wallake said HyperSocial had always been a ‘people first business’, and always would be, explaining how he wished he was a businessman who was ‘only money driven and didn’t care about who he hurt along the way’. 

"But I'm not,” he continued. 

“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. 1 or 2 or 3 that would still be here if better decisions had been made.” 

Wallake that he loved each of his employees from the bottom of his heart, from ‘every single thing that makes them smile’ to ‘every single thing that makes them cry’. 

Wallake had to lay off 'a few' of his employees. Credit: Tetra Images, LLC/Alamy Stock Photo
Wallake had to lay off 'a few' of his employees. Credit: Tetra Images, LLC/Alamy Stock Photo

He said he’d always hired people based on who they are as people, adding: “People with great hearts, and great souls.” 

The post then concluded: “And I can't think of a lower moment than this.” 

Some LinkedIn users praised Wallake's candour, while others felt cynical about his motives.

One wrote: "I am sure it was very difficult for you. To me this is a tad cringeworthy and tacky, but as off the mark as this is, who am I to question your intentions? My hope is that you can use the notoriety of this post to make connections and create opportunities to serve the employees you let go in a positive way. Then this would not have been in vain. Good Luck!"

Someone else commented: "Takes a ton of courage to share this. How many of your current employees would be unemployed if you didn’t own a business? You just owning your business is employing many. Tough decisions have to be made at times. Perhaps if things get better you can hire those back you had to layoff if they are not employed at the time. And it’s not weak to love your employees. It just shows you’re a good person."

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Topics: News, Business, US News

Jess Hardiman
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