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Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigns amid controversy surrounding his anti-gay past

Updated by Konrad on 4-03-2014 3:14 p.m. ET: Mozilla announced on its official blog that CEO Brendan Eich has resigned from his post, after his appointment caused an uproar due to his past anti-gay leanings.

Mozilla had this to say about the decision: 

“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.”

Mozilla also said that the future of its leadership is “still being discussed.” We do not know if the board members who resigned last week in protest over Eich’s hiring will return to their positions, or who will assume the role of CEO and take Eich’s place.

Dating site OkCupid has removed the letter which denounced the hiring of Eich from its site. Meanwhile, reactions to Eich’s resignation are already coming in from all over the tech world, via Twitter.

Here’s what Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen had to say.

Former Mozilla CEO John Lilly weighed in as well.


Original Post by Konrad Krawczyk on 3-31-2014

OkCupid urges Firefox users to ditch Mozilla over hiring of CEO with anti-gay past

Both Mozilla and its newly minted CEO Brendan Eich have already taken a lot of heat over the firm’s decision to hire Eich after it was revealed that the JavaScript inventor donated money in support of the Proposition 8 campaign in California in 2008. Proposition 8 sought to recognize marriage between men and women as the only form of legal marriage.

Since Eich’s appointment, three members of Mozilla’s board have resigned in protest, and now online dating site OkCupid has given its two cents on the matter, urging users to switch to a browser other than Firefox when using their service.

When using Firefox, if you navigate to the OkCupid home page, you’re greeted with a message that includes the following: “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid. Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last 10 years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8 percent of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

Below the message are links to the pages for three alternative browsers: Internet Explorer, Opera, and Google Chrome. At the very bottom of the page is another link that will let you continue on to use the rest of the site.

Amid the controversy, Eich has defended himself, releasing an official statement saying “words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to “show, not tell;” and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.”

It’ll be interesting to see if any other firms throw Mozilla under the bus over its hiring of Eich, and how Mozilla reacts to the backlash.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Article originally published on 3-31-2014.

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