Mozilla’s CEO steps down amid gay marriage furor

 


Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has stepped down. (oreilly)

Mozilla's embattled chief executive is resigning after a revolt among employees drew attention to political contributions he made in 2008 opposing same-sex marriage.

The maker of the popular Firefox Web browser announced Thursday on its blog that Brendan Eich would no longer be serving as its chief executive — just days after Eich had taken the helm of the organization.

"We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves," wrote executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker.

Last week, Eich came under attack from Mozilla employees because of a $1,000 donation he made in support of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative to ban marriage for same-sex couples. Then on Tuesday, the online dating Web site OkCupid told Firefox users to boycott the browser because of the controversy.

On March 26, Eich wrote a blog post expressing his "sorrow at having caused pain" and committed himself to upholding Mozilla's non-discrimination policies. The company provides health benefits to same-sex couples regardless of the state in which they live.

But Eich declined to step down, telling CNET that Mozilla was founded on "principles of inclusiveness" and that the company would fail if it didn't live up to them.

Eich has now apparently reconsidered that position.

Mozilla says it's considering its next steps. "We need to put our focus back on protecting [the] Web," wrote Baker.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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