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CEO Gets Dragged After Posting 'Infuriatingly Cringe' Crying Selfie After Laying Off Employees A LinkedIn post by Braden Wallake, the CEO of HyperSocial, is making the rounds for being out of touch.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

There is no end to the dramatics on social media, and even LinkedIn is not immune.

The platform has become a place where entrepreneurs and career-oriented people often write lengthy, "leadership" posts and cast them to a wide audience, in what some would call the era of the "LinkedIn Influencer."

However, there's a time and a place for theatrics, as one CEO has learned the hard way, after posting a photo of himself crying for inciting layoffs at his company.

Braden Wallake, CEO of HyperSocial (a B2B optimization company), took to LinkedIn on Tuesday to announce that his company was laying off employees.

"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," he wrote. "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 then mentioned an ambiguous "decision" he made back in February that failed, which he labeled as the root cause of the layoffs, and noted that only a few employees were let go, but it doesn't mean it made the decision any easier.

"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," Wallake wrote in his note. "Every single one. Every single story."

Naturally, the internet had a field day — the original post garnered over 32,000 reactions and 6,700 comments on LinkedIn alone, with many calling Wallake "cringe" and "selfish."

"How about using your network to help those employees find new jobs by tagging them and putting them in the spotlight, as opposed to whining about making difficult decisions as a leader and posting a crying selfie? This is one of the most out of touch posts I've seen in a long time," one LinkedIn user wrote.

"At best, you are making this all about you, when that is not where the focus should primarily be. And seen through another lens, this appears to be an attempt at getting visibility for your company at the expense of real humans whose livelihoods have been impacted directly," one user accused. "A form of guerilla marketing in lieu of communications counsel. It's a no for me. We need to all strive to do better. This is not it."

The post quickly made its rounds on Twitter where Wallake continued to get roasted by the masses, with many calling for an end to the LinkedIn Influencer culture.

Wallake maintained his stance in the comment section, and in a follow-up post on Wednesday, apologizing for the way his original post came off and encouraging employees seeking work to comment on the new post for potential employers to find.

"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," Wallake penned. "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."

According to his LinkedIn profile, Wallake is a five-time college dropout who has been CEO of Hypersocial for three years.

Entrepreneur has reached out to Wallake for comment.

HyperSocial was not alone in doling out layoffs this month, with other companies like HootSuite, Groupon, Walmart and Robinhood letting go hundreds of employees.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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