Half of Mozilla's board resign over the choice of Brendan Eich as Mozilla CEO

Three members of Mozilla's six-member board have reportedly stepped down over the choice of Brendan Eich as the new CEO. The three Mozilla board members to resign are former Mozilla CEO and current head of AVG Gary Kovacs, another former CEO named John Lilly, and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of the online education startup Shmoop.

The reason for their departure appears to be focused around their demands for someone from outside Mozilla with a background in the mobile industry, presumably to help push Firefox OS and to seize a larger share of the mobile browser market.

Mozilla spokesman Mike Manning confirmed that there are only 3 board members left, however he declined to comment further.

Although Firefox is an extremely popular browser on desktops and laptops, it barely makes a dent in mobile devices with less than 0.1% market share, and it seems that the board was after "fresh blood" that would bring fresh ideas to the table as opposed to someone who has been involved in Firefox for too long a time to provide the innovation that Mozilla needs.

Outside of the concerns about Eich's ability to push Firefox OS and increase their market share, there is pressure on the new Mozilla CEO to resign from employees that were not happy with his 2008 donation of $1,000 to a campaign that was geared at banning same-sex marriage in California. Eich recently posted a blog addressing the concerns that have been expressed over his views on marriage equality, in which he apologized for "having caused pain" and expressed that he is committed to ensuring safety and equality for Mozilla employees.

"I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion" - Eich

Source: Wall Street Journal

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81 Comments

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I don't see this as a problem , I think Mozilla should concentrate their efforts on the browser/email bits and forget about the mobile OS stuff ... for now anyway!

Let's hope the Mozilla doesn't fall into the same trap that has consumed Microsoft with its Windows-8 mess. Make sure your flagship product is rock solid and fully functional for the majority of your users, i.e., laptops and desktops, before launching into tablets, smartphones, etc. with their totally different form factor.

Nobody needs people who want to impose their views on others, it is good they resigned, troublemakers are not welcome anywhere.

This has everything to do with America, America is about freedom. We don't all agree with everything BUT we all have the right to express our opinions, our values, and our ideals and if so stand up for them and what you believe in. Also in America we have the right do so without being discriminated against, whether its same sex marriage or standing up for something else you believe in. He has the right to express himself as he wishes and spend his money as he wishes without being fearful of loosing his job over it or be persecuted for it. He should be judged at his work place based on his performance and ideals that apply to his job. What his personal beliefs are outside of the work place really have nothing to do with how he should be judged at work. He can't go off and fire everyone that is gay as they are legally protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the work place. All of you ASSUME that he hates gays because he is against gay marriage, maybe he has nothing against gay people but he doesn't believe that they should be married in the eyes of God.

It's a two way road, each side has the right to speak their opinion about it without having to fear being persecuted for it, and if people don't like him because of his personal beliefs then they have the right to go work somewhere else.

Were any of them making decisions regarding the UI direction and extensions? If so, good riddance. We don't need another chrome and I'm getting tired of my Kaspersky extensions being disabled with every point upgrade. Furthermore, since the world revolves around me, everything I said is valid and carries the full weight and backing of my good name :-)

Hopefully these 3 form their own company and fork Firefox and Thunderbird to rival the original apps and challenge chrome.

I for 1 never like same sex marriage but i can't go against it. Because everyone can do what they want. I am not for the gay's also but will not descriminate them just because they are like that.

Again it does not make me a homophobic person. I just don;t like it or understand it. Again it is there right to be like that. I got friends that are like that and i respect there choice and there way of life and have a nice time hanging out with them like when i do with other people.

Now for the new COE that gave money for the cause against same sex marriage it does not make him not able to do his job. And it does not make those that work for him think like him or support him in any way. Thinking otherwise is stupid.

I love all of these people not reading this post before commenting. They left due to his lack of experience in mobile... not the fact that he donated to support Prop 8 in CA, US.

Honestly people. If anything this, like all other alternative marriage debates, demonstrates why government shouldn't be involved in licensing two people living thier lives together. I don't care of two guys, two girls, or a mix of more want to get married. But I certainly don't care if someone who only wants a guy and a girl to be able to get married heads up a ####ing software foundation... this is like the new white guilt. Baffling to see the uproar.

Who remembers watching a documentary about Mozilla back in the late 90s/early 2000s? That was back in the day when people didn't put gender issues on top of everything else. I guess gender issues didn't exist (not going to say why, in case I offend).

Hope the team replacements will bring some fresh new ideas to Firefox/Mozilla. Once again, IE has never looked so tempting.

Hopefully this delays/stops Australis, causing the majority of Firefox's long time users to keep on using Firefox. IE is just so tempting now.

Edited by 68k, Mar 29 2014, 12:41pm :

Why can't people have different points of view.

Are we seeing the end of Mozilla? I mean, that kind of started when Chrome came on the scene, but I think now it's obvs.

A340600 said,
Why can't people have different points of view.

Are we seeing the end of Mozilla? I mean, that kind of started when Chrome came on the scene, but I think now it's obvs.

These are former CEOs and board members that disagree with the current CEO professionally. They have the right to disagree with what he is doing with the company.

They never mentioned his personal views as a reason, and tried to block him becoming CEO from the beginning.

A340600 said,
Why can't people have different points of view.

It's not about having a different point of view, per say, because a lot of people have a view (on many topics) that may be contrary to others. For me, he stepped over just having a view to actively participating in denying people equal rights.

A340600 said,
Why can't people have different points of view.

It's one thing to have a different opinion; it's another to donate to a movement which directly hurts the interests of employees at the company. His position is untenable.

I never fall for that. There are business and individuals that might donate to a cause you don't agree with but you don't know it and still buy their products.

So wait, the guy never said anything against gay people, he didn't say get rid of them, he didn't say burn them at the stake or put them in camps. He gave a donation to an organization that says marriage should stay defined as a union between a man and woman. A donation 6 years ago. You can't have an opinion or a different stance on an issue anymore? Gay advocacy is becoming like Nazism, anyone who thinks different to its ideals is seen as an enemy and you job / livelihood is threatened.

Just remember - NEOWIN is part of THE MEDIA. Authors will do whatever it takes to have their articles/names posted around the net.

News like this is pure flame bait.

68k said,
Just remember - NEOWIN is part of THE MEDIA. Authors will do whatever it takes to have their articles/names posted around the net.

News like this is pure flame bait.

How is it flame bait if half of the board members, including two former CEOs of Mozilla, resigned?

Supporting a group that is against gay marriage is not an opinion. That group is discriminating people in this country. When you're gay in this country, then, liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness does not apply.

duoi said,

How is it flame bait if half of the board members, including two former CEOs of Mozilla, resigned?

My comment was in reference to this article here on Neowin.

Sadelwo said,
So wait, the guy never said anything against gay people, he didn't say get rid of them, he didn't say burn them at the stake or put them in camps.

He donated to a movement seeking to suppress the rights of gay couples, something which directly impacts employees within the company. It would be just as outrageous if he had donated to a group opposing interracial marriage.

Gay advocacy is designed to achieve equality, not special treatment. To equate it to Nazism is reprehensible and patently absurd. It is offensive that you would suggest such a thing.

The reason for their departure appears to be focused around their demands for someone from outside Mozilla with a background in the mobile industry, presumably to help push Firefox OS and to seize a larger share of the mobile browser market.

Nothing was said about his personal view or donation to any group.

68k said,
My comment was in reference to this article here on Neowin.

Yes, and I wrote the article, so kindly explain how it is flame bait if half of the board members, including two former CEOs of Mozilla, resigned?

Gungel said,
Supporting a group that is against gay marriage is not an opinion. That group is discriminating people in this country. When you're gay in this country, then, liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness does not apply.

do you support having unisex toilets and changing rooms?

torrentthief said,
do you support having unisex toilets and changing rooms?

Yes. Gender specific toilets and changing rooms are an outdated social construct. They should be gender neutral, with privacy for those who seek it.

Sadelwo said,
You can't have an opinion or a different stance on an issue anymore?
Nobody has said he (or anyone else) isn't allowed to have any opinion they want. Those opinions, however, are not guaranteed to be without consequences or criticism, however. Freedom of speech is not a guarantee to never be criticized for that speech. Grow up.

So, why haven't they canceled Firefox OS yet, like they did with Firefox for Windows 8? If nobody is using it, like they excused with Win8...

"I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion" - Eich

What about left-handed people?!?!

Honestly I don't see how they expect FireFox OS to help things, at this point I think Mozilla is stuck, the browser isn't moving much if at all and I've yet to see a large number of FFOS phones out there. I think with the way the market is now that 3 OS's for phones/mobile is all the market is going to support.

I don't see Firefox OS competing with the big three also the desktop browser is stagnating.. (look at chrome's market share).. I hope thats the real reason they want him out.. that gay stuff is ridiculous

George P said,
Honestly I don't see how they expect FireFox OS to help things, at this point I think Mozilla is stuck, the browser isn't moving much if at all and I've yet to see a large number of FFOS phones out there. I think with the way the market is now that 3 OS's for phones/mobile is all the market is going to support.

Three OS's, you mean two right? In NA iOS and Android account for over 90% market share with Blackberry and WP claiming around 3% each. So I would say its a two horse race right now.

Sonne said,

Three OS's, you mean two right? In NA iOS and Android account for over 90% market share with Blackberry and WP claiming around 3% each. So I would say its a two horse race right now.

Because the US is the whole market right? Besides, last numbers I saw for the US had WP at 4% or a bit more. If the US was the trend setter for the market the iOS would still be the #1 mobile OS in the world, but we know it's a distant second.

How can he ensure that Mozilla includes and supports everyone when he obviously has a different view? He either is lying or he radically changed his mind.. Either way both not favorable features for a CEO

because any professional person can separate personal views and company views, so he should be fine doing his job...

NyaR said,
Even if I think his opinion is wrong, I will defend his right to have it.

Nobody is questioning his right to have such an opinion and make such donations, they just don't consider him an appropriate choice for CEO. Few people would want to work for someone who is actively undermining their rights.

Mike said,
because any professional person can separate personal views and company views, so he should be fine doing his job...

The resigned over his professional views, they never mentioned his personal views.

NyaR said,
Even if I think his opinion is wrong, I will defend his right to have it.

No. It's not just an opinion. He supports a group that oppresses a minority. That's discrimination. This support also indirectly affects gay people within the company. So no you can't separate this personal view from his professional view.

Not sure what any of this has to do with:

"The reason for their departure appears to be focused around their demands for someone from outside Mozilla with a background in the mobile industry, presumably to help push Firefox OS and to seize a larger share of the mobile browser market."

theyarecomingforyou said,

Few people would want to work for someone who is actively undermining their rights.

...and what about HIS rights!!? Are they any more or any less important than his employees!?

GreatMarkO said,

...and what about HIS rights!!? Are they any more or any less important than his employees!?

His employees can't change policy to affect his life, he can change policies to affect their lives.

No matter what your politics are, you can at least apply simple logic and compassion.

Wow.

GreatMarkO said,
...and what about HIS rights!!? Are they any more or any less important than his employees!?

Do you even understand what this is about? He is trying to deny gay couples the right to get married, a right he already has. However, he is free to oppose gay marriage and employees are free to oppose him for doing so.

He doesn't have the right to suppress the rights of others.

they resigned for the bad reason... they should have asked for the OS to be killed and not try to waste time and money pushing it forward. they wont be missed.

benjimoola said,
they resigned for the bad reason... they should have asked for the OS to be killed and not try to waste time and money pushing it forward. they wont be missed.

Firefox is turning into a nice os for developing markets like brazil. A $25 phone is going on sale soon with firefox os, that is pretty incredible!

benjimoola said,
they resigned for the bad reason... they should have asked for the OS to be killed and not try to waste time and money pushing it forward. they wont be missed.

How is it a bad reson? Everything is rapidly moving towards mobile and cloud services and Mozilla isn't doing well in either space. Firefox has slowly been becoming rather irrelevant on the desktop and virtually non existent on mobile.

Speaking of mobile and Firefox OS - in order for them to be successful they need a rich set of cloud services to supplement their devices and as far as I know they have nothing. Apple has iCloud, Google has everything from Gmail to cloud storage to a full blown office suite and more and so does Microsoft. What does Mozilla/Firefox OS have? Just a cheap phone ain't really gonna cut it. There already are cheap Android and Lumia phones that have tons of apps and rich set of cloud services so why should anyone choose Firefox OS instead?

If they don't do something drastic in these areas, something that their new CEO doesn't seem to have much experience with, they might as well just end the suffering now.

_YOLO_ said,
Good for that s-xist guy xP

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha

Showan said,

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha


It has to do with the fact that the "cause" is evil.
Would you like it if you find out that your teacher or boss donates to a "cause" to stop the cure for cancer?

_YOLO_ said,

It has to do with the fact that the "cause" is evil.
Would you like it if you find out that your teacher or boss donates to a "cause" to stop the cure for cancer?


Same sex marriage and cure for cancer aren't even close to each other. So someone against same sex marriage is evil? If he is against same sex marriage, that makes him evil, you are against someone who doesn't believe in same sex marriage, that makes you evil as well... So you are in the same boat as he is.

_YOLO_ said,

It has to do with the fact that the "cause" is evil.
Would you like it if you find out that your teacher or boss donates to a "cause" to stop the cure for cancer?

are you pro incest too?

torrentthief said,

are you pro incest too?


Yes, Because I believe everyone has a choice on what to do with their lives, and no one should stop them from doing so...except for criminality, of course.

Showan said,


Same sex marriage and cure for cancer aren't even close to each other. So someone against same sex marriage is evil? If he is against same sex marriage, that makes him evil, you are against someone who doesn't believe in same sex marriage, that makes you evil as well... So you are in the same boat as he is.

No, because he is ok with people controlling what others want to do with their lives, while I think freedom is much better, but there is, as always, a limit.

Showan said,

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha

1st amendment? That only applies in a court of law when it comes to government intrusion. It only prevents the government from censoring or trying to criminalize a person over something they said or did or express. It does not apply to corporate or public relations because it has no application between people themselves. It only serves to restrict the government from impeding onto an individual. :)

Showan said,

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha

Please read the constitution, you are conflating the meaning. The First Amendment is with regard to government abridging speech.

These are fellow citizens, that also have the freedom to say or do what they want.

You can stand on a street corner and say anything you want, but don't be shocked when people that disagree with you shout back at you, they also have protected speech.

Showan said,

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha

It's that his 'cause' was to actively help deny rights to a group of people. That's backwards thinking in a realm where you need forward thinking just to keep up.

He can always change his views but I have a feeling there's a religious underpinning and that's a whole other can of worms. We have enough zealots in this country as it is. :p

Showan said,

So he isn't allowed to have his 1st amendment? He donated with his loot, not company loot. And believed in a cause.

Back on topic: If that's the reason for their leaving, I say this: Don't let the door knob hit ya, where the good LORD split'cha

Uhh, he has his first amendment right to say and donate to whomever he wants but there'll still be aftermath from it as everyone exercises their first amendment rights.

Audien said,

Uhh, he has his first amendment right to say and donate to whomever he wants but there'll still be aftermath from it as everyone exercises their first amendment rights.


IMO the people at Mozilla are once again acting like babies. Little Calimero's.
He can support whatever he wants in his free time. But no those employees and board can not accept a choice someone made?

Also, not supporting gay marriage does not mean that he is against gay people. For a lot of people marriage is something a man and woman do together. And for a lot of people it is hard to accept that marriage could be more.


Nahhhhh Mozilla has to bring this internal struggle public. With all the useless drama the company can do without. Mozilla has much bigger issues then a CEO that donated to some cause people can't accept with. Does not matter what this cause is. Any cause can be seen as evil and bad depending on the perspective.

Shadowzz said,

IMO the people at Mozilla are once again acting like babies. Little Calimero's.
He can support whatever he wants in his free time. But no those employees and board can not accept a choice someone made?

Also, not supporting gay marriage does not mean that he is against gay people. For a lot of people marriage is something a man and woman do together. And for a lot of people it is hard to accept that marriage could be more.


Nahhhhh Mozilla has to bring this internal struggle public. With all the useless drama the company can do without. Mozilla has much bigger issues then a CEO that donated to some cause people can't accept with. Does not matter what this cause is. Any cause can be seen as evil and bad depending on the perspective.


THANK YOU....

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