The Ohio-based CEO who got ridiculed for posting a “crying selfie” on LinkedIn as he revealed layoffs at his company is once again raising hackles — this time by announcing the death of his grandmother on the job-networking site.
Braden Wallake, chief executive of Columbus-based online marketing firm HyperSocial, informed his 43,000 followers on LinkedIn on Tuesday that “my grandma passed away today.”
“I got the text from my mom, closed my computer, and headed straight over to her house,” Wallake wrote. “While driving to my moms, I was reminded days like today are why I do what I do.”
Wallake then wrote that the experience made him realize that “there’s more to life than working” and that companies and employees should move away from “hustle culture,” saying it has “developed us into thinking that we have to choose between success at work OR having a personal life.”
“The reason I started HyperSocial was to help these same people build their business in the background so they can go have fun, spend time with family, do the important things that matter besides work, be next to people that matter,” Wallake added.
Wallake’s post was not received well by LinkedIn users.
“Such a sad post, to use your Grandmom’s death as a way to promote your company,” wrote LinkedIn user Jason A..
“Very sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother,” chimed in LinkedIn user Brian FitzGerald. “When can we expect the crying selfie?”
Mike Pinto, another commenter on LinkedIn, wrote: “At least she didn’t die in vain, look at all the likes!”
Wallake denied that his intent was to promote his company, insisting that “the ability to step away for important things is the why behind what I do.”
When contacted by The Post, Wallake said that he has also received “positive feedback” on his post about his grandmother.
“I’m not exploiting her death for company promotion,” Wallake told The Post. “It would suck if I couldn’t be there for my mom because of work. And the same thing for our clients. We exist so they don’t miss out on life.”
He added: “It’s a motivator to myself to keep going, keep striving, not just for me, but for our team and our clients too.”
“Sometimes I get so lost in the weeds it’s hard to remember the why behind what I do,” Wallake wrote on LinkedIn in response to critics. “But when I’m able to go be with my mom when her mom passes away and know that I can step away with no issues, I’m ever grateful for it.”
“So yeah, I’m going to attach an emotional reason to why I created the company,” he added. “Because I’ve seen others and myself miss out on life because of work. And life is too short for that.”