Mozilla CEO resigns after gay marriage uproar

 

Mozilla is losing its new chief executive, Brendan Eich, whose donations to an anti-same-sex marriage measure embroiled the Internet nonprofit in controversy.

"We failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community," Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said in a company blog post Thursday.

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Eich, who took over the Internet nonprofit behind the Firefox browser last week, recently came under fire for a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to California's Proposition 8, a measure to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

In a pop-up page, OkCupid asked its users to access the online dating site through a browser other than Firefox in protest of Eich's politics.

“We are sad to think that any OkCupid page loads would even indirectly contribute towards the success of an individual who supported Prop 8  — and who for all we know would support it again,” the site told users.

Eich responded to the resulting controversy by refusing to resign and declining to explain his personal views on same-sex marriage.

In her Thursday blog post, Baker apologized for the company's handling of the controversy.

"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," she wrote.

"We’re sorry. We must do better."

Baker defended the company's culture of "diversity and inclusiveness," which includes "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," she wrote. "But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community."

According to the blog post, Mozilla has not yet settled on next steps for its leadership and will put its focus back on protecting the open Internet.

"We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission," Baker wrote.

"We are stronger with you involved."