Mozilla CEO Resigns After Protests Against His Stance on Gay Rights

There was no immediate word from the company on who would take over for Brendan Eich.

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Dustin Volz
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Dustin Volz
April 3, 2014, 11:36 a.m.

The newly in­stalled CEO of Moz­illa has chosen to step down fol­low­ing protests against him for his sup­port of an anti-gay mar­riage law that had ig­nited the In­ter­net over the past week.

Brendan Eich, who had been pro­moted to lead the com­pany just last week, made the de­cision “for Moz­illa and our com­munity,” Mitchell Baker, the com­pany chair­wo­man, an­nounced in a blog post Thursday.

Eich’s pro­mo­tion led to a flurry of on­line protests and even con­sterna­tion from some Moz­illa em­ploy­ees who had asked him to step down. On Monday, on­line dat­ing site Ok­Cu­pid es­sen­tially blocked Moz­illa’s pop­u­lar Fire­fox Web browser due to Eich’s stance on gay rights. Ok­Cu­pid began greet­ing users who vis­ited the ming­ling site with an open let­ter lam­bast­ing Eich for donat­ing $1,000 to sup­port a 2008 Cali­for­nia meas­ure to ban same-sex mar­riage, and wish­ing Moz­illa “noth­ing but fail­ure.”

Eich, in re­sponse, wrote a blog post in which he prom­ised that Moz­illa would be “a place that in­cludes and sup­ports every­one, re­gard­less of sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion, gender iden­tity, age, race, eth­ni­city, eco­nom­ic status, or re­li­gion.” He gave no in­dic­a­tion then he planned to resign.

But the pub­lic scru­tiny proved too much for the Moun­tain View, Cal­if.-based com­pany, whose open-source Fire­fox browser boasts hun­dreds of mil­lions of users world­wide.

“While pain­ful, the events of the last week show ex­actly why we need the Web,” Baker wrote. “So all of us can en­gage freely in the tough con­ver­sa­tions we need to make the world bet­ter.”

Baker did not say who would re­place Eich and only offered that “lead­er­ship is still be­ing dis­cussed.”

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of Eich’s resig­na­tion, John Lilly, a former chief ex­ec­ut­ive at Moz­illa, said on Twit­ter:

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