39 Comments

Summary:

Mozilla’s new CEO Brendan Eich has officially resigned in the wake of protests over his support for a ban on gay marriage.

After more than a week of controversy, which included boycotts from employees and websites like OKCupid, Mozilla announced Thursday afternoon that co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich has resigned.

Eich has been at the center of outrage stemming from a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to support Prop 8, the California ban on gay marriage. While the donation initially surfaced back in 2012, Eich’s recent appointment to CEO in March 2014 reignited the concern over his beliefs — and calls to step down.

Eich repeatedly said that he would not step down — a sentiment he echoed in a blog post written about the issue — but it seems that the company has spoken. In addition to stepping down as CEO, Re/code reports that Eich has also resigned from the Mozilla Foundation Board.

Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker said diversity is a priority at the company:

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.

At this time, no decisions have been made on a replacement.

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  1. So how, exactly, is this free speech if Eich has been forced to step down for demonstrating his rights to free speech? If I were Mozilla, I would fear Eich coming back with attorneys saying that his “resignation” was forced upon him by Mozilla for exercising free speech. It goes both ways, and Mozilla appears to not be tolerant of Eich’s right to free speech. It one’s free speech offends another, that does not make it unconstitutional. On the contrary, that is the purpose of free speech, which allows us to freely and openly communicate our differences.

    1. 52% of Californians agreed with this guy at the time of the election. This from one of the more liberal states.

    2. You just don’t get it do you.

    3. Excellent point. This guy was unable to hold an opinion contrary to PC fascists. It is shocking that people can’t have their own opinions on any matter these days.

      1. There is no point in having a democratic institution such as that employed in California to vote on propositions if people are “punished” for voting or supporting one side or the other.

        This is, quite simply, a new form of McCarthyism.

        It’s as though some odd form of unreason which originates in social media has replaced logic with “likes” and “dislikes”.

    4. This is pretty simple. Eich can say whatever he wants. Gay rights activists can too. They said they didn’t want a bigot leading them or representing their company. Eich, in the end, deferred to their views.

      1. This situation has absolutely nothing to do with Gay Rights. Nothing at all. It is a question of whether someone should be “punished” for supporting a view which has been recognised by the US political system as being legitimate.

        I am very much in favor of gun-control legislation. Does this move mean that I might be fired from my next job because my boss and fellow employees are pro-gun?

        There are going to be repercussions from this that are unforeseeable.

      2. Eich’s stated commitment to abide by anti-discrimination law and the lack of any evidence that he has in fact discriminated against anyone make the reference to him as a “bigot” erroneous, and, well, bigoted (that is, intolerant of others’ opinions).

  2. Its time to drop Firefox

      1. To express my personal opinion on the matter.

    1. Time to start using Firefox again.

    2. Already uninstalled all Mozilla products. Thunderbird and Firefox gone from my GNU+Linux.
      Free speech for everyone!

  3. Mozilla may “[believe] both in equality and freedom of speech” and believe that “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech,” but these have big problems.

    1) Nowhere in the constitution is equality mandated by the law. True, the Declaration of Independence [from England] does state “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, this is not the Constitution. This was a letter to the King of England, so read it in that context. But most importantly, being “created equal” is not the same thing as “being equal”. Being equal would imply that you are always equal for all eternity, but that is impractical. It is a truth that all people are distinct and different, and therefore we all have a right to have our own, individual and different views. Are we all created equal? Yes. And with those rights (life/liberty/pursuit of happiness) endowed by our Creator? Yes. Must we all remain equal? Absolutely not. And THIS is what makes the U.S. strong, and being able to express our differences is core to our freedom is speech, and the very reason why free speech was put in the Constitution. Mozilla obviously doesn’t understand this core concept, and should go back to the 6th grade.

    2) Mozilla states “equality is necessary for meaningful speech?” On the contrary, it is our differences that make speech meaningful. Otherwise why would we even have the need for free speech expression if we were all equal? Again, Mozilla starkly misses the point and purpose of our free speech rights.

    Finally, Mozilla states “you need free speech to fight for equality”. This, I do agree with. You do need free speech to fight for equality. Just like you also need free speech to fight for your own individual views and opinions. Just like Eich has. And if Mozilla forced his hand on his resignation, I would be fearful if I were Mozilla. Eich has free speech too, and that is written in the Constitution.

    1. Mozilla is a private company. The First Amendment applies only to government efforts to abridge speech.

      1. Mozilla is however subject to anti-discrimination laws, and that’s how you make sure its employees, including the CEO, aren’t discriminating–not by preemptively taking away their jobs because they don’t agree with you on a point of morality.

  4. JesseGarboden Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Gay marriage is wrong in all ways. Its unethical its evil. Period!

    1. Why–because the Wholly Babble says so?

      Gay marriage is great. It’s the Bible that contains all manner of immoral beliefs and exhortations. It’s disgusting.

      1. Just curious–how would you feel if your employer forced you to resign because you posted this comment?

  5. Not one mention of whether this guy is the right guy to be CEO in terms of leadership, professionally, etc. in all I’ve read about this.

    Also, if you require the CEO, board, etc. to hold your beliefs, you are not going to like what you find. Whatever side you are on.

    BIG M

  6. Yeah – diversity is important – especially if everyone who is diverse agrees with you

  7. I’m disappointed by this decision. Apparently you can lose your job for holding the wrong political views around Mozilla. What a shame.

  8. Николай Станошек Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Diversity of opinion is obviously not valued.

  9. Complete BS. Free to express yourself as long as it falls in line with what everyone else thinks and if it doesnt we will offer you up as a sacrifical lamb. I really hope this backfires on Mozilla

  10. Clearly people are inclusive only in one-way, the ‘other-way’ is not allowed.. strange

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