Down the rabbit hole: Goya CEO censured by board for peddling false election fraud claims
Robert Unanue must now get permission from the board of directors before speaking to the media.
A supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump throughout his time in the White House and the 2020 presidential election campaign, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue is now paying for his allegiance to the twice-impeached real estate mogul.
In a decision made on Friday, Jan. 22, but first reported by The New York Post on Jan. 25, Goya Foods’ board of directors voted to censure Unanue after he appeared on Fox Business on President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day and called the new leader’s election victory “unverified.”
Now, should the CEO want to speak with the media, he would need permission from the company’s board of directors.
His unfounded claims were in the same vein of Trump’s false election fraud declarations he peddled following his loss to Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Following his loss, the legal team Trump assembled to challenge election results in states lost or withdrew 60-plus cases across the country in a span of two months.
“Bob does not speak for Goya Foods when he speaks on TV,” board member Andy Unanue told The Post. “The family has diverse views on politics, but politics is not part of our business. Our political point of views are irrelevant.”
For the CEO, the road to being censured was a rocky one.
Unanue first caught the ire of shareholders, customers and social media after he appeared at a White House event on July 9, 2020 and praised Trump, saying the U.S. was “blessed” to have a leader like him.
In response, #Goyaway began trending on Twitter and many longtime customers of the massive Hispanic brand began a boycott of its products.
Much of the initial backlash from social media came from a reaction to Unanue’s comments by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo” https://t.co/YOScAcyAnC
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2020
Members of Trump’s family and Unanue responded with a “buycott” of their own, but sources from within the company have told multiple outlets that his actions have severely impacted the future viability of the brand.
Even with the censure, for many, the company’s actions are too little, too late, and still look to Unanue’s past actions as a representation of the entire company turning its back on the U.S. Latino community.
Just a reminder that Goya turned their back on the community to support a racist.
They're still trash. Don't forget. https://t.co/4o3jLqJ8iq
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) January 26, 2021
While not directly addressing the board’s decision to censure him, Unanue has conceded that he will no longer discuss politics or religion “on behalf of the company.”
“But I leave open the opportunity to speak on behalf of myself,” he said.