Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Steps Down Amid Anti-Gay Controversy

Brendan Eich is no longer CEO of Mozilla [Image: Wikipedia]

Brendan Eich is no longer CEO of Mozilla [Image: Wikipedia]

The CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, has resigned amidst controversy, following reports that he donated a thousand dollars to support Proposition 8 in California.

Mozilla posted a statement yesterday evening, apologising to the public for not moving “fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started” and acknowledging that they fell short of their own policies on diversity and equality.

Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman with Mozilla, wrote that Eich “made this decision for Mozilla and our community”. In the statement, Baker also wrote:

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

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.

[…] 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.

The controversy came to a head when dating website, OkCupid, displayed a message to Mozilla Firefox users attempting to visit the website. In the message, OkCupid asked users to access their website using a browser which did not have an anti-gay CEO connected to it. It seemed that Eich attempted to make amends, by releasing a statement about the controversy on his own website. In the statement (which can be read here) Eich attempts to make promises to achieve LGBT inclusiveness, without actually apologising for his donation to support Prop 8, or for the reaction that ensued. Regardless, it seems that his efforts were not enough, as Mozilla confirmed his stepping down yesterday.

“[Mozilla] will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility,” Ms Baker concluded.

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He is founder of EILE Magazine, a digital publication for the Irish LGBT community, and has published several works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He lives in Cork with his partner.
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