A California software company CEO angered scores of customers when he sent out a mass email urging they vote for Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, and called anything less “a vote against democracy.”
David Barrett, the head of a company called Expensify, which creates and maintains software for businesses to track their expenditures, shocked many of his company’s ten million customers with the email sent out on Thursday night, Bloomberg reported.
Barrett veered away from business finance in the unsolicited message to the company’s 10 million customers after the final presidential debate with an unusual message:
Vote for Biden, he urged them, or they risk being complicit in destroying democracy.
On Expensify’s website, it gives the pitch, “Whether you’re a road warrior with pockets full of receipts or a busy accountant buried in paperwork, Expensify automates the entire receipt and expense management process.”
But Barrett, who is based in San Francisco, had a pitch that was much more political and much more targeted.
In his email to his company’s clients, Barrett downplayed the threat of voter fraud, cautioned against voting for President Donald Trump and also slammed the idea of voting for third party candidates.
I just received an email from @expensify CEO David Barrett telling me to vote for Joe Biden. Iohk currently uses expensify services. We will immediately begin looking for a new vendor. I did not sign up to have a service provider CEO email my employees pushing a political agenda pic.twitter.com/smJdyli86G
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) October 23, 2020
Barrett prefaced, “It’s not like we did this with a lot of enthusiasm. We did this out of a perceived necessity,” before writing, “Expensify depends on a functioning society and economy; not many expense reports get filed during a civil war.”
He also said, per Bloomberg, “I am confident our democracy (and Expensify) can survive a Biden presidency. I can’t say the same about Trump.”
“I’m saying a vote for Trump, a vote for a third-party candidate, or simply not voting at all — they’re all the same, and they all mean: ‘I care more about my favorite issue than democracy. I believe Trump winning is more important than democracy,” he added.
“I am comfortable standing aside and allowing democracy to be methodically dismantled, in plain sight,’” Barrett wrote.
“Anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy.”
Backlash to the partisan email from the CEO of the business expense software company was swift online.
Numerous users on Twitter claiming to be Expensify customers hit Barrett for the tone of the email, as well as the perception he violated their trust by using their personal and business information to campaign for a political candidate.
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