Feeds

I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Firefox maker says sorry

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Firefox-maker Mozilla Corporation – after it emerged he controversially backed a ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California.

In a blog post on Thursday, Mozilla cofounder and executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote that Eich's decision was voluntary and that he made it "for Mozilla and our community."

"Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it," Baker wrote. "We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves.

"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."

Eich's appointment as Mozilla's chief exec spurred outrage among gay rights supporters after public records revealed that he contributed $1,000 to the campaign in support of Proposition 8, a divisive 2008 California ballot initiative that enshrined "one man, one woman" as the standard for marriage in the state's constitution.

Although the bill was eventually struck down as unconstitutional under federal law, Eich's support for it was seen as antithetical to Mozilla's progressive public ethos, leading to calls for a boycott of the group's Firefox web browser.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, Eich, a Mozilla cofounder, said his political beliefs were "personal" and that he had "kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we've been going."

"There's a difference here between the company, the foundation, as an employer and an entity, versus the project and community at large, which is not under any constraints to agree on LGBT equality or any other thing that is not central to the mission or the Mozilla manifesto," Eich said.

But Eich's comments appeared to clash with the views of Baker, who blogged on March 29 that "Mozilla supports equality for all, explicitly including LGBT equality and marriage equality."

In her Thursday blog post, Baker wrote, "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."

Eich's decision to abdicate the CEO chair leaves a leadership vacuum at Mozilla, which has been without a chief executive since Gary Kovacs announced his resignation a year ago. JavaScript inventor, and Mozilla.org cofounder, Eich's future at Mozilla Corporation is not clear at this stage.

"What's next for Mozilla's leadership is still being discussed," Baker wrote. "We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week." ®

Updated to add at 1814 PDT, 0214 BST

Eich has personally confirmed he has not only stepped down as CEO, he has quit Mozilla outright.

"I’m leaving Mozilla to take a rest, take some trips with my family, look at problems from other angles," he said. "I encourage all Mozillians to keep going."

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.