Mozilla CEO Resigns Amid Prop 8 Controversy
Brendan Eich has been the CEO of Mozilla for under a month but the software company announced Thursday that he would be stepping down from his new position due to the controversy sparked by his 2008 donation to a Proposition 8 campaign.
Mozilla’s executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker made the announcement in a blog post called, "Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO." The post in part reads:
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.
You can read Baker’s full post here.
Eich made headlines last month after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to a campaign that supported California’s Prop 8. Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael Lintorn Catlin, co-founders of the app developer Rarebit, called for a boycott against Mozilla, which created the popular web browser Firefox, until Eich either stepped down or announced that he now supports gay marriage.
Mozilla quickly did damage control, with its officials posting blog entries defending the company and its inclusiveness. Even Eich responded, but didn’t not state whether he supports same-sex marriage. Additionally, just a few days ago, the former CEO gave his first interview since the controversy started with tech news site CNET but refused to comment on his personal views with regard to gay marriage. He stressed that he doesn’t mix his personal views with work, however.
Some took to the boycott, like popular dating website OKCupid, which urged its users to stop using Firefox.