Mozilla CEO resigns; opposition to gay marriage drew fire
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[April 04, 2014]
By Sarah McBride
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Mozilla Chief
Executive Brendan Eich has stepped down, the company said on
Thursday, after an online dating service urged a boycott of the
company's web browser because of a donation Eich made to opponents
of gay marriage.
The software company came under fire for appointing Eich as CEO last
month. In 2008, he gave money to oppose the legalization of gay
marriage in California, a hot-button issue especially at a company
that boasts about its policy of inclusiveness and diversity.
"We didn't act like you'd expect Mozilla to act," wrote Mozilla
Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker in a blog post. "We didn't move
fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started.
The next step for Mozilla's leadership "is still being discussed,"
she added, with more information to come next week.
While gay activists applauded the move, many in the technology
community lamented the departure of Eich, who invented the
"Brendan Eich is a good friend of 20 years, and has made a profound
contribution to the Web and to the entire world," venture capitalist
Marc Andreessen tweeted.
Eich donated $1,000 in 2008 in support of California's Proposition
8, which banned gay marriage in the state until it was struck down
by the Supreme Court in June.
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His resignation came days after OkCupid.com, the popular online
dating site, called for a boycott of Mozilla Firefox to protest the
world's No. 2 Web browser naming a gay marriage opponent as chief
On Monday, OkCupid sent a message to visitors who accessed the
website through Firefox, suggesting they use browsers such as
Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer or Google Inc's Chrome.
"Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for
gay couples," the message said. "We would therefore prefer that our
users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."
(Reporting by Sarah McBride)
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