Anti-Gay Marriage Mozilla CEO Resigns After Backlash

Brendan Eich, the newly named CEO of the software firm Mozilla Corporation, resigned from the post after sparking ire among gay rights activists and supportive members of the tech industry for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

BRENDAN EICH

Since being appointed to run the company most famous for the Firefox browser last week, many, including two former Mozilla developers and the dating site OKCupid have publicly condemned the software development firm for appointing a known supporter of the anti-gay laws to the top spot, urging people online to try a different browser instead. Eich’s politics came to light after news re-emerged of a $1,000 donation he made in support of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.

After trying to bat away concerns about Eich’s ideology without relieving him of his duties, the company explained the decision to remove him in a blog post on Thursday:

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.

Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.

While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.

We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla.

While there is no clear replacement in line to assume the CEO position, Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker Baker insisted that the company is not without options, saying in an interview this morning that “[t]here are certainly very talented people we have talked to, so we are not at ground zero by any means.”

 

(Courtesy of HuffPost.com)