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Crying CEO who posted selfie defends himself after being met with backlash

Crying CEO who posted selfie defends himself after being met with backlash

Braden Wallake said that the staff lay-off was the ‘toughest’ thing he’s ever had to do

The man dubbed as the 'crying CEO' has defended himself following the backlash of a staff layoff.

Braden Wallake, CEO and founder of US-based B2B agency HyperSocial, took to LinkedIn yesterday (10 August) to announce 'the toughest thing he's ever had to do', alongside a selfie of him crying.

He wrote: "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. 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.
LinkedIn/Braden Wallake

He added: "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. 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. I know it isn't professional to tell my employees that I love them. But from the bottom of my heart, I hope they know how much I do. Every single one. Every single story. Every single thing that makes them smile and every single thing that makes them cry.

"Their families. Their friends. Their hobbies. I've always hire people based on who they are as people. People with great hearts and great souls. And I can't think of a lower moment than this."


Since sharing the post, he was met with a lot of negative and positive comments, and today (11 August), the CEO responded: "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.

"Here it is - comment away. This is for you to start a new future. To highlight you. 

"People seeking new work: Post your resume, desired job title, qualifications. 

"Employers: here’s an opportunity to hire amazing people."

UNILAD have reached out to Braden Wallake for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Braden Wallake/LinkedIn

Topics: US News, Business