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.

National Journal
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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