Fox reports, social media decides: The Twitter takedown of Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney

Getty Images

A significant part of the media that is taking a beating post-election are pollsters. Just how did they get it so wrong in missing Donald Trump’s victory?

In fairness, let’s cut these folks some slack: It’s hard to be accurate when people — particularly women — are petrified to say that they’re supporting Trump when a pollster calls.

One of the more eye-popping numbers to emerge from the election is this: Hillary Clinton only topped Trump in the white-women category by 10 points. Most polls showed her up more than 20 points in that category going in.

Simply put, women — and men — were afraid to share their support for Trump out of fear of being bullied on social media — or more importantly, out of fear of actually sidetracking or ending a career.

{mosads}Exhibit A today is a disturbing memo sent Wednesday by a CEO named Matt Maloney of a successful company called GrubHub. As you will see, its intimidating nature, implied to anyone in his company who didn’t vote the same way he did on Tuesday, is as hypocritical as it is unintentionally hilarious. got wind of the email and published it Thursday. It’s been all downhill for Maloney and his company since.

Here’s the full text of Maloney’s memo: 

So… that happened… what’s next?

I’m still trying to reconcile my own worldview with the overwhelming message that was delivered last night. Clearly there are a lot of people angry and scared as the antithesis of every modern presidential candidate won and will be our next president.

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.

If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.

I want to repeat what Hillary said this morning, that the new administration deserves our open minds and a chance to lead, but never stop believing that the fight for what’s right is worth it.

Stay strong,


In other words, if you voted for Trump and a pious bully like Maloney finds out about it, don’t expect a raise or promotion, like, ever. And given the shaming tone by the CEO to his more than 1,000 employees in that letter, even mentioning the president-elect in any positive manner while at the office will also end a projected career path very quickly.

After this became the top story on Fox’s Twitter feed to its 11.6 million followers, it caught fire in other parts of media on Thursday. Fortunately, some outlets like Forbes did the right thing and got Maloney to comment further on the record. He proceeded to only make matters worse (emphasis mine). 

“I have no problem with an employee voting for Trump,” Maloney told Brian Solomon of Forbes. “I have no problem with an employee agreeing with Trump’s hateful statements. However, I will not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful speech at Grubhub, and I will stand up for our employees when they are demeaned or defamed.”

Now if you’re an employee at Grubhub and you’re one of the nearly 60 million people who voted for Trump on Tuesday, what does Maloney’s “clarification” imply? What if another employee reports back to their boss that they saw a Trump-Pence sign on your lawn or saw a bumper sticker on your car or cubicle?

The automatic assumption by a broad-brusher like Maloney is that you’re likely a member of the “basket of deplorables,” as his candidate used in describing Trump voters. Of course, the irony isn’t lost that Maloney’s soapbox includes no tolerance for intolerance from employees who didn’t vote the same way he did, as evidenced by his quoting of Hillary Clinton at the end of his memo.

Now here’s the part where social media comes into play again.

Apparently Maloney didn’t think this tweet through very well to his 247,000 followers before the election, which basically tells at least half of his potential and current customers to take their business elsewhere:

As for Maloney’s threatening letter to employees, that hasn’t gone over well Trump supporters and even non-supporters: 

Grubhub is headquartered in Chicago. Friday’s Chicago Tribune headline says it all: Grubhub faces backlash after CEO’s anti-Trump email to employees

In a related story, on a day when the Dow hit an all-time high for the second straight day, Grubhub shares went south by more than 4 percent.

CEO sends memo to staff. Memo gets leaked to major news outlet. Outlet publishes letter. Social media explodes in outrage. Other outlets pick up the story. CEO is forced to clarify, makes matters worse. Stock falls on day most go up. 

That’s a classic bad-business-behavior-meets-media-meets-social-media scenario.

Usually in these cases, it doesn’t end well for CEOs like Matt Maloney. And in this case, rightly so.


Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.


More Media News

See All

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video