If you've ever been at a company during layoffs, you likely know from experience that they're no fun for anyone. Getting laid off sucks the most. Being part of a smaller team with the same amount of work after your coworkers have been let go also sucks. And being the one doing all the laying off doesn't look like too much fun either.
So recently, Braden Wallake, CEO of the B2B sales and marketing firm HyperSocial, made a post on LinkedIn about his experience with having to let a couple of employees go. The post quickly made him the internet's main character for a day and stirred up a lot of conversation.
He started the post by saying, "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."
He went on to discuss what a difficult choice this was and how he loves his employees, writing, "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."
But the part of the post that really got people talking was this selfie:
The post has racked up thousands of comments and stirred up a lot of debate. On one side, people saw the post as attention-seeking and performative, lacking in an actual apology, and centering himself instead of focusing on the employees who were just let go. In a word: cringe.
One commenter wrote, "Yikes. I was just laid off — along with many others. If my CEO sent this I'd probably lose my mind. You're crying? I'm crying. We're crying. You still have your job. Imagine if we all posted pictures of US crying? We'd never get hired, because we are forced to be RESILIENT in our industries."
But other commenters were more sympathetic to where Braden is coming from. One wrote, "When I see this post, I see a guy who is literally just trying his best. If you've ever had to lay someone off it really sucks. This guy cares about his employees — he decided to process some of this online. Could he have tagged the employees and said how great they were — sure, but did he expect this post to blow up like this? Probably not."
The post has even made its way to Twitter, where it's being widely criticized as the epitome of LinkedIn Cringe™️.
The crying CEO selfie is literally everything wrong with business culture and LinkedIn bros combined.
my question is how many crying selfie pics did that CEO take before he picked one to post
The LinkedIn Crying CEO is about to become meme status and not in the way he was hoping.