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Mozilla Employees Ask New CEO To ‘Step Down’ Over Prop 8 Support

by David Badash on March 27, 2014

in News

Post image for Mozilla Employees Ask New CEO To ‘Step Down’ Over Prop 8 Support


The board of directors of Mozilla, the company that makes the highly-popular web browser Firefox, may not have cared much that Brendan Eich, their co-founder is anti-gay and was happy in 2008 to put invest his money in anti-gay candidates and the Prop 8 campaign. Until now.

Some high-profile Mozilla employees are protesting the promotion of Brendan Eich to CEO because of his anti-gay position. At least half a dozen Mozilla employees took to Twitter today to ask Eich to “step down” as CEO. Several others expressed said they were “disturbed” and expressed that they are “disappointed” with Eich’s promotion.

LOOK: Firefox And New CEO Respond To Anti-Gay Charges By Totally Not Addressing Them

Brendan Eich, a legend in the tech industry, co-founded Mozilla and wrote the programming language Javascript — also highly-popular. When the Mozilla board promoted Eich to CEO this week, there was some grumbling about the 2012 disclosure he had donated $1000 to the Yes on 8 campaign that supported Prop 8, and thousands more to political candidates who opposed marriage equality.

The founders of one software startup announced a boycott of Mozilla and Firefox, explaining how Prop 8 had personally harmed them. The same-sex bi-national couple, who created Rarebit and the popular smart phone app Dictionary!, say Prop 8 prevented them from being able to marry, and from jointly-creating a software company in 2008.

Eich, in a lengthy post on his personal blog, attempted to address concerns he had met internally upon his promotion, and promised to treat everyone equally. He did not address his anti-gay positions, except to state in an almost hidden portion of his statement that he wished to express his “sorrow at having caused pain.”

Mozilla also handled the public and internal outrage poorly, merely pointing to their domestic partner insurance benefits — and industry standard.

Ars Technica, a tech industry news site, reported on the story and placed the players in context:

The internal response began this morning with two tweets from Mozilla Open Badges project lead Chris McAvoy. “I love @mozilla but I’m disappointed this week,” McAvoy said, referring to the controversial decision to appoint Eich as CEO after he had donated thousands to both California’s Proposition 8 and political candidates who supported it. “@mozilla stands for openness and empowerment, but is acting in the opposite way.” He then made a more pronounced declaration: “I’m an employee of @mozilla and I’m asking @brendaneich to step down as CEO.”

Within minutes, many other Mozilla employees followed suit, using similar language or copying each other’s statements outright. Those included Mozilla Festival curator Chloe Vareldi, partnerships lead John Bevan, designer Jessica Klein, and engagement team member Sydney Moyer.

Firefox is the world’s second-most popular desktop browser.

Hat tip: Joe Jervis


Firefox, The Anti-Gay Browser?

Firefox Users Boycott Browser Over New Anti-Gay CEO


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BearFlagCitizen March 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

For gods sake, the comments on the ArsTechnica article are ridiculous.

"It's nice to know that religious views now amount to "bigotry" in this crowd."
"He's entitled to his opinion."

I call BS.
Having an opinion is one thing. A person can have an opinion, and not force their opinions into the lives of others. I have an opinion that McDonalds is vile and distasteful as food, so I don't eat it. I'm not lobbying and donating money to ban ALL McDonalds so no one at all can enjoy it if they so wish to.

Having an opinion and "freedom of speech" does not guarantee you the right to be free from criticism of what you say.

100 years ago, he would have been riding around in white robes and a hood burning crosses in front of people's homes. Would you be defending him for "expressing his opinion"?

BJLincoln March 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

This is the first time I have seen this info, "and thousands more to political candidates who opposed marriage equality.".
I had argued that it was a small amount a long time ago, 1000 in 2008, but having read this new info, I would not support him in any position.

tattoozntech March 28, 2014 at 11:16 am

good on them. he should step down, and shouldn't have been elected in the first place.

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