Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Resigns Over Prop 8 Controversy

Recently-appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has resigned over the controversy surrounding his donation to California's Prop 8 campaign, Mozilla reports in a blog post written by Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker:

EichWe 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.

Read the full post here.

Last week news broke that Eich had donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign. Eich's donation was revealed by a pair of gay married software developers who announced they were planning to boycott Mozilla's platform in protest.

In response to anger over the revelation, Mozilla's blog posted a statement "to clarify Mozilla’s official support of equality and inclusion for LGBT people." Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman posted about the controversy on his blog as did Baker.

The Wall Street Journal reported that three Mozilla board members resigned over Eich's appointment though Mozilla denied reports that Eich was the reason for the board members' departure in a statement to other media outlets.

Following a rather lackluster statement from Eich in response to the controversy, several employees used Twitter to call on him to step down from his position. And in protest of Eich's donation the dating service OkCupid blocked access to its site for users of Mozilla's Firefox browser, a block they later lifted.

In recent days, Eich gave an interview suggesting he would be staying on at the company but refused to say what his current views are on same-sex marriage. But even more recent revelations about his donations to Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, and the racist and anti-semitic baggage that brings, may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Expect right-wing religious groups to be furious over Eich's resignation. Anti-gay activist Robert George, the Chairman of the 'United States Commission on International Religious Freedom' and the co-founder of the 'National Organization for Marriage' (NOM) recently called for a boycott of Mozilla over some of its employees' 'intolerance' to his anti-gay views.

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  1. Great news.

    Posted by: Brian W. | Apr 3, 2014 3:12:31 PM

  2. Just remember to substitute "free speech" for money and there is your answer.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 3, 2014 3:12:41 PM

  3. Why is this still not making me feel any better about Mozilla?

    Posted by: Jude | Apr 3, 2014 3:13:06 PM


    Posted by: XAEL | Apr 3, 2014 3:13:09 PM

  5. WOW! I really did not see this coming but I am very happy about this news! BRAVO!

    Posted by: C.J. | Apr 3, 2014 3:14:00 PM

  6. Bye Felicia.

    I'm still sticking with Chrome.

    Posted by: brandon h | Apr 3, 2014 3:16:57 PM

  7. cool

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Apr 3, 2014 3:17:25 PM

  8. The wingnuts will put this guy on a cross and lament his persecution. Ha ha.

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Apr 3, 2014 3:18:12 PM

  9. good to hear

    Posted by: Jaysonn | Apr 3, 2014 3:18:13 PM

  10. Good riddance. Mr. Eich was incompatible with Mozilla's mission. How can you lead an open and inclusive organization when you aren't those things yourself? I'm just glad to put this behind us.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 3, 2014 3:18:58 PM

  11. Chrome is still a far better browser.

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Apr 3, 2014 3:19:17 PM

  12. "Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public."

    And that very same culture of openness means that a person cannot hide from the consequences of their beliefs and opinions after they've been stated in public. That is a fact that Mozilla must keep in mind.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Apr 3, 2014 3:20:54 PM

  13. If he had donated to any other suppressive ideas, (example: against black, jews etc.) he would have never been promoted in the first place. Mozilla will have to step up and prove to me, they deserve to have me back.

    Posted by: Jaysonn | Apr 3, 2014 3:23:00 PM

  14. HooRAY! Best news I've had all day.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 3, 2014 3:23:40 PM

  15. When will people realize that the Internet is Gay? Once a sh*tstorm brews... Brace !

    Posted by: Killian | Apr 3, 2014 3:25:07 PM

  16. their response was class

    Posted by: Manny | Apr 3, 2014 3:25:21 PM

  17. I have very mixed feelings about this issue. While I certainly was not happy that he was a donor to the PropH8 campaign here in California, I also don't want our community to be labeled as bullies or accused of retaliation. Are we never going to allow for people to change their minds and hearts over past errors in judgment? I'm not saying he is a supporter of our community or ever will be in total, but perhaps at least he wasn't going to go out and actively campaign or donate to anti-gay causes. To me, at least, that is progress. Sometimes, I feel, we cut off our nose to spite our face in these instances.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 3, 2014 3:26:35 PM

  18. The thing is, I totally understood his point about being able to have his views, beliefs, and opinions. The problem I had this entire time was his assertion that it didn't matter what those were as soon as he hit the door at work. When you become the CEO of an organization like Mozilla, these views become important. Frankly, had he and Mozilla addressed this in a meaningful way that opened real conversation and understanding, I would have been more than fine with him remaining the CEO.

    Posted by: PadLake | Apr 3, 2014 3:29:28 PM

  19. KEITH, what are you smoking? Seriously, stop. Your the kind of guy that would watch your kid get bullied to death and do nothing about it because you can change 'hearts and minds'.

    I really hope you don't suffer being this naive in the real world.

    How in your brain capacity you can make a 40+ old educated man who has risen to CEO a frigging VICTIM who doesn't know what he is doing, is insane. And really scary.

    You remind me of so many people in causes that f*ck it up because you live in la la land but are always there to reap the benefits of those change.

    Anyway because I'm not as naive as you are, it's obvious that the 2 who resigned did not want this guy because of his homophobia and that more powerful people in senior positions, as well as who are investors complained.

    Now if only the gays behind the scenes in entertainment has as much integrity....

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 3, 2014 3:35:30 PM

  20. "....but perhaps at least he wasn't going to go out and actively campaign or donate to anti-gay causes. To me, at least, that is progress."

    'Perhaps' isn't progress. Eich(mann) had done NOTHING, not even lip service, to show that his opinions, beliefs and values were any different than when he financially supported a movement whose purpose was to deny equality to LGBTs. He should never have been promoted to CEO. Mozilla has a lot of atoning to do on this one. Eich(mann)'s resignation is just the first step.

    Also, it is not 'bullying' for LGBTs to organize and respond to attacks against them. Don't be brainwashed by the cowardly Far Right Bigots' rhetoric. That's what their religion does to them--only allows them to respect something they fear. They're going to hate you no matter what. Deep down, they probably only respect us when they fear us a little. Standing up for yourself and fighting back against the Fundagelicals is the only way to gain any respect.

    Posted by: Quizás, Quizás, Quizás | Apr 3, 2014 3:39:45 PM

  21. I switched to Opera over this and...surprise!!.. it's a much better browser!

    Posted by: baruch | Apr 3, 2014 3:40:07 PM

  22. Bullying works! yay!

    Posted by: CGD | Apr 3, 2014 3:46:15 PM

  23. Ding Dong the Witch is dead! Thanks Mozilla!

    Posted by: Guillermo Luna | Apr 3, 2014 3:47:37 PM

  24. The Talibangelicals only proposition is: "Let's look at the big picture. How does it affect me?" Imagine if the new CEO had signed a petition to implement Sharia law throughout the U.S. - would the gay-haters have stood silently by? Of course not, they'd be leading the boycott Mozilla campaign before he'd finished his allahu akbar!

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Apr 3, 2014 3:48:05 PM

  25. nom's boycott mozilla campaign will do as well as it's boycott starbucks campaign.
    i'm going to starbucks to log on to firefox.

    Posted by: woody | Apr 3, 2014 3:50:23 PM

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