GrubHub CEO Clarifies Postelection Email to Employees

ElectionDow Jones Newswires

GrubHub Inc.'s chief executive sought to clarify postelection remarks in which he seemingly suggested employees who back Donald Trump's politics resign, highlighting the dangers executives face when delving into political and social issues.

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CEO Matt Maloney is among several technology executives, including the chiefs of Apple Inc. and Inc., who reacted in the wake of Mr. Trump's victory. The Chicago food-delivery company's chief sent a companywide email denouncing the "nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump."

He described Mr. Trump's rhetoric as demeaning and insulting to minorities, immigrants and disabled people, and said his views "have no place at GrubHub." Had Mr. Trump worked for GrubHub, his comments would lead to immediate termination, Mr. Maloney wrote.

He said GrubHub would fight for employees' dignity and rights. In the final paragraph, Mr. Maloney said employees who don't agree with his statement should "reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here."

The CEO backtracked Thursday, saying his comments were misconstrued and that he wasn't asking for employees to resign if they voted for Mr. Trump. The email was "intended to advocate for inclusion and tolerance -- regardless of political affiliation -- during this time of transition for our country," Mr. Maloney said in a statement.

Grubhub's stock fell 4.8% to close at $35.31 on Friday. The company declined to comment beyond Mr. Maloney's statement.

Mr. Trump, who has taken shots at Apple as well as Amazon chief Jeff Bezos in recent months, received little support from prominent technology executives, other than venture capitalist Peter Thiel.

In a memo Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the result of the election wouldn't have an effect on the company's core beliefs of diversity and inclusion. Regardless of which candidate people supported, Mr. Cook said, "the only way to move forward is to move forward together."

Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a message on the social network Wednesday evening that said the work ahead for the next generation is "bigger than any presidency."

Amazon's Bezos seemed to congratulate Mr. Trump in a tweet: "I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country," Mr. Bezos wrote.