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CEO posts about his 'honest' firing approach on LinkedIn, faces backlash online

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Matthew Baltzell, CEO of Cap X Media, ignited an online controversy with his recent LinkedIn post about firing an employee. The post, featuring a smiling photo of Baltzell, detailed the termination process, which many found both professional and insensitive.

In his post, Baltzell described the 10-minute meeting where the employee was informed of their layoff, offered a severance package, and a future job reference. He emphasized maintaining honesty and professionalism throughout the process. The post quickly drew mixed reactions on social media.

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Detailed Breakdown of Firing
Baltzell shared that the firing process was brief and direct, taking only 10 minutes. The employee was offered a severance package of one week’s pay per year of service and a reference for future employment.

Baltzell explained his approach, stating, “Stayed clear and honest. After the meeting, I sent a message over Slack to inform everyone that the employee was no longer with us, without giving details. Gossip doesn’t help anyone. I provided the ex-employee’s contact info to the team and encouraged them to reach out if they wished. This avoids any secrecy. This approach shows my team that if they ever have to leave, they’ll be treated with respect, not discarded like trash.”

Mixed Reactions on Social Media
The post quickly went viral, with many users criticizing Baltzell’s approach. One user commented, “You just made someone’s exit incredibly problematic for yourself. I would NEVER work for an individual that was so INSECURE about his own leadership that he had to share the semantics in his first firing experience. Grow up. Leaders don’t behave this way.” Another remarked, “A real leader doesn’t need to brag about how good of a job they thought they did in firing someone.”

Some found the CEO’s choice to share the experience on LinkedIn to be insensitive and unprofessional. One user stated, “Imagine being the fired employee, logging onto here and seeing your boss make a post like this about you. If that wasn’t bad enough there’s an accompanying photo of him SMILING about it.”

However, not all responses were negative. Some users praised Baltzell for his transparency and leadership. One user wrote, “That’s true leadership right there, Matthew. Maintaining a positive company culture even during challenging times is what defines great leadership.”

Another shared, “You handled this exactly how it should be handled which speaks to your leadership skills Matthew. I have witnessed a TON of bad exits over the years, including one I’ll never forget as long as I live. An email ‘meet me tomorrow morning at 9 am at the airport in Terminal ‘x’, and bring your computer and corporate credit card with you’, accompanied by zero explanation, zero warning, and zero reason. Spoiler- it ended up getting reversed by senior leadership.”

CEO’s Reflection and Future Approach
In his post, Baltzell reflected on the experience, stating, “Handling an employee’s exit can either strengthen or weaken your company culture.

Here’s how it went down: 10-minute meeting: Kept it short and direct, Severance package: Gave one week’s pay for each year of work, Recommendation: Offered to provide a future job reference and Transparency: Stayed clear and honest.”

He acknowledged the need for a more structured outline for future conversations to ensure better handling of such situations.

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Welcome to Sromplexport! We’re a company that helps people and businesses import and export products across different countries. Whether you’re looking to source products, manage logistics, or navigate customs regulations, we’ve got you covered. We’re based in Rajkot, Gujarat, India, and we’re committed to providing ethical and transparent service to our clients. We work with industries like textiles, agriculture, and handicrafts, and we’re always happy to build new relationships with people who want to succeed in the import/export world. Thanks for stopping by, and let us know how we can help you!

Sromplexport offers international trade services, including product sourcing, quality control, logistics, and customs clearance. Our ethical and transparent approach simplifies the import/export process for clients in various industries.