Grubhub co-founder Matt Maloney is leaving the company he founded nearly 20 years ago.
In a surprise announcement Friday, Grubhub’s new parent company, Just Eat Takeaway.com, said Maloney would step down Dec. 1 “to pursue other opportunities.”
Maloney, who helped launch the online ordering and delivery industry with Grubhub, became part of Just Eat Takeaway’s management board after the Amsterdam-based company acquired Grubhub for $7.3 billion in June.
A source familiar with the situation said Maloney decided to leave sooner than expected after a disagreement with Just Eat Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen over the direction of the company.
“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” Grubhub said in a statement. “Having said that, the integration with Just Eat Takeaway.com is going smoothly, and we’re excited by our plans to continue growing the Grubhub business in the U.S.”
Adam DeWitt, Maloney’s longtime No. 2 who now is CEO of Grubhub, said in a note to staff: “I talked to Matt, and he knows there is a lot more work to do. But after two decades of making food delivery better for everyone, he is ready to move on to the next chapter.”
Groen said in a statement announcing Maloney’s departure: “Great entrepreneurs like Matt start businesses that touch the lives of millions of people. He has built a magnificent company and helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the U.S. We are sorry to see him leave the company and wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
Since the deal was announced in June 2020, there was always a question over how well Groen and Maloney, two headstrong founders, would mesh. Maloney, who co-founded the company in 2004 with Mike Evans, is one of Chicago’s most successful tech entrepreneurs. Two years later, Grubhub won a startup business-plan competition at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and went public in 2014.
Maloney already had handed off day-to-day responsibilities to DeWitt as part of the Just Eat Takeaway acquisition. But Maloney’s departure comes at a critical time for the company.
Grubhub, which was a pioneer in ordering food via mobile phones and grew to nearly $2 billion in annual revenue, has seen competitors such as DoorDash and Uber Eats cut into its business. DoorDash leads the U.S. with 57% of the U.S. market, according to Bloomberg Second Measure. Uber Eats is No. 2 at 23%, followed by Grubhub at 16%, according to the latest data. Grubhub also trails DoorDash in its biggest markets, New York and Chicago, Bloomberg Second Measure estimates.
Grubhub, which employs about 1,000 workers in Chicago, faces increasing regulatory threats as well. New York has enacted a law that permanently limits the amount Grubhub and its peers can charge restaurants for delivery and marketing services to 15 percent and 5 percent of the total bill, respectively, which would cut into fees that traditionally have totaled about 30 percent. San Francisco passed a 15 percent cap.
Chicago has sued Grubhub and other delivery companies for listing restaurants on their platforms without permission. The state of Massachusetts also sued Grubhub for violating a COVID-related law that limited restaurant-delivery charges to 15 percent.