Anti-Gay Marriage CEO Leaves Mozilla

Tenure shortened by turmoil

Mozilla’s co-founder and recently named CEO, Brendan Eich, is stepping down after his anti-gay marriage support became a source of turmoil within and without the company.

Eich rose to CEO less than two weeks ago, but announced his resignation today, after insisting for days that his opponents would not knock him from his role as he tried to focus on leading the nonprofit Mozilla.

Critics had blasted his appointment to CEO because he once contributed $1,000 to ban same-sex marriage in California. Mozilla, which developed the Firefox Web browser, is known for its open and inclusive policies online and in the real world.

Its software is open source and free, and its nonprofit philosophy is seemingly at odds with Eich’s personal views.

Earlier this week, dating site OKCupid became the most visible symbol opposing him, posting a note on its website to anyone using Firefox to switch browsers in protest. OKCupid today said it was satisfied with Mozilla's new direction and dropped its Firefox block.

Three board members also recently left Mozilla. Reports suggested the former board members opposed Eich’s appointment. However, according to the company two of the departures were planned before he officially became CEO, one decided to leave in January and another at the end of the CEO search regardless of the choice. 

“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,” the corporation said in a blog post today. “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.”