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CEO faces backlash after posting crying selfie on LinkedIn

Yahoo Finance anchors discuss the response to a CEO who posted a selfie of himself crying on LinkedIn after laying off staff.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Braden Wallake, the CEO of marketing firm, HyperSocial, is going viral after posting a selfie of himself crying on LinkedIn to go along with a post explaining his experience laying off several employees. Now, he's since been criticized by other LinkedIn users, who think he's putting his feelings above those of the fired employees. One user even asked why Wallake didn't cut his own salary, instead of putting the hardship onto others.

So, Brian, I mean, it does feel a little bit like "woe is me," as you're firing other people. He sort of made it about him, which does make me a little bit uncomfortable. And the fact that it's a marketing firm and the fact that we're talking about it, I was like, was this all part of the plan? The cynic in me, eh, I don't like this. I don't like it.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Well, I mean, if it was a marketing play, then wouldn't that be more nefarious? Because the whole idea is, well, you had two people lose their jobs that you could post this LinkedIn thing so that you could get more publicity.

But look, at the end of the day, I think this is a cautionary tale over how to use LinkedIn because I can feel like I speak for a lot of people when I say, broadly speaking, the type of behavior that we see on LinkedIn posts is often way too emotional. And you see a lot of motivational things that have way too many words in them. You have to click Continue Reading.

The utility of LinkedIn is finding out if people have moved jobs, if they've made life changes, if they've got promotions. It doesn't have to be this big, emotional type of social media site. I mean, I don't know about you. I see some content-- it's not just CEOs crying-- where I just kind of roll my eyes. I'm like, really? Here, on LinkedIn? What are we doing here?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I will say, you do raise a good point. I feel like the spirit in which LinkedIn first came about, you really didn't used to see these sorts of stories. But I think as people's sort of work and life has started overlapping, people feel comfortable doing it. And I guess, it's not really being flagged by LinkedIn. Technically, it is a business story.

So there's little bit of gray area here. But my thing is, I understand being upset that you had to lay people off, but don't make it about yourself. Make it about the actual people, you know? And as they mentioned, you didn't cut your own salary. Like, could you have done other things rather than sort of crying and putting a post online? Probably.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah.