Emotions remain high as the country closes out its second day with a President-elect Donald Trump. Startup founders are struggling to instill confidence among employees that the culture of openness at their companies will not be affected by a President Trump.
Unfortunately, some media outlets aren’t helping. Earlier this evening, Fox news published that Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney had asked employees who had voted for Trump to resign. There is no evidence to back up those claims. What Maloney did was affirm a culture of openness at his company.
“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,” said Maloney in his original blog post. “If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here.”
Maloney did not specifically address Trump voters at any point in his memo, but Fox insisted on the narrative of an executive punishing employees for an undesirable political outcome. In the context of protests going on not far from the company’s Chicago headquarters, the memo helps to address fears running through a workforce of over 1,000 employees.
As reports spread, Maloney decided to publish an update on Grubhub’s blog to personally clarify that he hadn’t intended to isolate Republican voters. But of course this clarification was just a formality. It was always clear that he wanted to prevent Trump’s hateful ideas from permeating the company’s culture.
“I want to clarify that I did not ask for anyone to resign if they voted for Trump,” asserted Maloney in the updated post. “I would never make such a demand. To the contrary, the message of the email is that we do not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful commentary in the workplace, and that we will stand up for our employees.”
Maloney isn’t the first well-known tech figure to make headlines for his reaction to Trump’s upset victory. Most prominently, 500 Startups Founder Dave McClure went off on an extended, heated rant, about his frustration with Trump’s election during a talk at Web Summit. With such contrast it’s not hard to differentiate McClure’s emotional outburst from Maloney’s constructive memo.
We reached out to Maloney to see if he has anything to add and will update this post if we hear back.