Goya's board of directors voted Friday to censure CEO Robert Unanue due to his public comments in support of former President Donald Trump and his unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The vote by a majority of the Latino food company's nine-member board means Unanue will not be permitted to speak to media outlets without the board’s approval, sources close to the situation told the New York Post, which was first to report on the decision. A source told CNN the decision is a "full stop" on Unanue speaking to the press.
Unanue's censuring came after the Goya CEO appeared on Fox Business' Mornings with Maria on Inauguration Day. During the appearance, Unanue said President Joe Biden's win was "unverified" and said there was a "war coming." Unanue, who appeared on the show just a week after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said, "I think this is mission accomplished, by the union, the partnership, the conglomerate of social media, big tech, big media and big government for ushering in the dawn of a new world order." He added, "there is a war coming, now that the president is leaving today, they're still coming after the United States, the working class." His remarks followed other controversial comments he has made regarding the election and the former president.
Following his remarks, Goya board member and third-generation owner Andy Unanue told The Post that Unanue "does not speak for Goya Foods when he speaks on TV," adding, "the family has diverse views on politics, but politics is not part of our business. Our political point of views are irrelevant." A source told CNN after the Friday vote that Unanue's remarks are "dangerous."
"The company has never been political or politicized. He's gone from bad CEO to CEO that has imperiled the future of the company and endangered the lives of some of the shareholders," the source said, referencing threats some Unanue family members have allegedly received due to the CEO's comments. "His statements are insulting and dangerous."
Unanue has since issued a statement following the board decision. In a statement to The Post, he said he "independently" decided he would no longer speak to the press about politics and religion. He did not directly address the board's decision.
"Independently, I’ve made the decision to lower the temperature and walk away from speaking about politics and religion. I realize it's important because of the diverse views of the company and our market," he said. "I don't believe I should speak politically or in a faith-based manner on behalf of the company. But I leave open the possibility of speaking on behalf of myself."