The election is over, and the U.S. government prides itself on a peaceful transition of power. But one American CEO doesn’t seem to be fully on board with the peaceful part.
Matt Maloney, the co-founder of GrubHub, an online food delivery service, sent a company-wide email Wednesday telling employees those who agree with President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric or policies should resign immediately.
“If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here,” he wrote. “We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.”
A big supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Maloney bemoaned to employees, “I’m still trying to reconcile my own worldview with the overwhelming message that was delivered last night,” adding that “the antithesis of every modern presidential candidate won and will be our next president.”
The CEO’s email made it clear that not only was he shocked by the election results, but also ties all the issues that arose out of the very bitter campaign to Trump:
While demeaning, insulting and ridiculing minorities, immigrants and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior — and these views, have no place at Grubhub. Had he worked here, many of his comments would have resulted in his immediate termination.
We have worked for years cultivating a culture of support and inclusiveness. I firmly believe that we must bring together different perspectives to continue innovating — including all genders, races, ethnicities and sexual, cultural or ideological preferences. We are better, faster and stronger together.
Further I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can. As we all try to understand what this vote means to us, I want to affirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I and everyone else here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States.
According to Fox News, Maloney said “almost 20 percent” of his employees were thankful for his bold message. He told the network he “is not embarrassed” by the memo, despite earning intense backlash for it.
Bruce Tulgan, author of “It’s OK to be the Boss,” called the email “extraordinary” because, while he advises business leaders to build a corporate culture, he warns against ever engaging in political talk.
“Much of that message could have been communicated without making direct reference to the election,” he told Fox of Maloney’s message. “Anytime you are talking about things that are not work at work you’re risking potentially alienating people, making people feel uncomfortable or un-welcomed at work.”
Mark Horstman, co-founder of Manager Tools, said Maloney’s letter “has a chilling effect on people’s perception of their rights.”
And Fox host Judge Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump’s fiercest advocates, said Friday morning that the GrubHub leader “is setting himself up for a major lawsuit” because he’s created an atmosphere that suggests “if you don’t agree with me, if you don’t hate Donald Trump, then get another job.”
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) November 11, 2016
It is important to note that, after receiving much criticism, Maloney revised his statement Friday morning, suggesting that his first notice was “misconstrued.”
“I want to clarify that I did not ask for anyone to resign if they voted for Trump. I would never make such a demand,” he insisted in a written statement. “Grubhub welcomes and accepts employees with all political beliefs, no matter who they voted for in this or any election. We do not discriminate on the basis of someone’s principles, or political or other beliefs.”