Mozilla employees call for their new CEO to step down

Earlier this week, Mozilla announced that it had appointed a new CEO: JavaScript creator Brendan Eich. But that choice was immediately mired in controversy, as it emerged that Eich had donated money towards the Proposition 8 campaign in California that opposed same-sex marriages.

The controversy quickly escalated, as some app developers sought to distance themselves from Mozilla in direct response to Eich's appointment, even going as far as pulling their apps from the Firefox Marketplace. 

Things have now worsened further, as employees of the Mozilla Foundation itself have called on their new CEO to resign. As Ars Technica reports, Chris McAvoy, who heads up Mozilla’s Open Badges project tweeted: “I love @mozilla but I’m disappointed this week”, in response to Eich’s appointment.

McAvoy added: @mozilla stands for openness and empowerment, but is acting in the opposite way.” In a further tweet, his words were unequivocal: 

Many more Mozilla staff retweeted these sentiments and added their own, calling on Eich to resign.  

Ars Technica also reports that, earlier this week, Brendan Eich issued a statement on his personal blog, in which he recognised “concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi and transgender] individuals at Mozilla.” He said that he was committed to a range of plans to “work with LGBT communities and allies”.

Recognising the uphill struggle that he faces in winning over the hearts and minds of his employees, the new CEO also said: “I don’t ask for trust free of context, or without a solid structure to support accountability. No leader or person who has a privileged position should.” 

Source: Ars Technica | Rainbow flag image shown is a mock-up and not an official Mozilla photo 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Criminals use hacked Android phones to mine crypto-currencies

Next Story

Windows Phone version of new HTC One said to be on the way

138 Comments

View more comments

"The contested point is on the word marriage. Its strictly religious."

This is where you're completely, totally, utterly, and provably wrong. Religion does not "own" the word marriage.

Marriage is a civil contract with The State that declares two people who are otherwise unrelated to be treated as "family" within the eyes of the law.

I can disprove your entire stupid, simplistic, irrational notion with one simple fact: I have two friends who are atheists who got married at City Hall. They are MARRIED. They have a MARRIAGE LICENSE. And religion has nothing to do with it.

Regardless, your RELIGIOUS opinion should not be LEGISLATED and MANDATED in order to affect other people who do not share your backwards and ignorantly bigoted ideas and notions.

If you don't want to marry someone of the same sex, don't. If your church doesn't want to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, then it doesn't have to.

But don't confuse "weddings" (the religious ceremony) with "marriage" (the civil legal document and framework between the couple and The State).

The Christian (or Jewish Or Islamic or Quaker or Scientologist or Mormon or whatever) "viewpoint" is completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter one bit what they believe. Their "beliefs" shouldn't affect the law, or anyone outside of their church.

Never mind you speak of Christians as if they're a monolithic group. MANY religions, including many sects of Christianity, support same-sex unions, some having performed same sex weddings for decades now.

Your ignorance and arrogance are stunning to me. Grow up and educate yourself. Your personal religious beliefs are no basis for denying American Citizens the same civil rights as you take for granted. Period.

You are both ignorant AND a bigot, whether you care to acknowledge this or not. This reality is not contingent on your "belief". You are COMPLETELY ignorant on this topic, and significantly bigoted, and deeply arrogant. You are factually wrong, but so blind that you refuse to see.


pmbAustin said,
That's a blatant and total lie. It's sad you believe that.

Your statement is so ludicrously ignorant, it's the exact same as saying "You as a straight man could always marry another straight man." You'd never want to, because it's not in your nature.

You have the right and ability to marry the person you love, to be considered as family in the eyes of the law, above all others. Gay people are denied that right in too many states right now.

Opposition to same-sex marriage equality is not substantially different than the ignorant bigoted opposition to inter-racial marriage back in the 50s when that was legalized. Your argument there would be that interracial couples who wanted to get married "had the same rights" as you because they could always marry people of their same race.


Wow what an absolutely hateful and intolerant thing to say, you are an obvious poster-child for the hateful and intolerant, full of name-calling, denials and outright dishonesty, using far-reaching and dissimilar examples to compare the plight of the LGBT to that of blacks.

How ignorant and arrogant of you!

pmbAustin said,
"The contested point is on the word marriage. Its strictly religious."

This is where you're completely, totally, utterly, and provably wrong. Religion does not "own" the word marriage.

Marriage is a civil contract with The State that declares two people who are otherwise unrelated to be treated as "family" within the eyes of the law.

I can disprove your entire stupid, simplistic, irrational notion with one simple fact: I have two friends who are atheists who got married at City Hall. They are MARRIED. They have a MARRIAGE LICENSE. And religion has nothing to do with it.

Regardless, your RELIGIOUS opinion should not be LEGISLATED and MANDATED in order to affect other people who do not share your backwards and ignorantly bigoted ideas and notions.

If you don't want to marry someone of the same sex, don't. If your church doesn't want to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, then it doesn't have to.

But don't confuse "weddings" (the religious ceremony) with "marriage" (the civil legal document and framework between the couple and The State).

The Christian (or Jewish Or Islamic or Quaker or Scientologist or Mormon or whatever) "viewpoint" is completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter one bit what they believe. Their "beliefs" shouldn't affect the law, or anyone outside of their church.

Never mind you speak of Christians as if they're a monolithic group. MANY religions, including many sects of Christianity, support same-sex unions, some having performed same sex weddings for decades now.

Your ignorance and arrogance are stunning to me. Grow up and educate yourself. Your personal religious beliefs are no basis for denying American Citizens the same civil rights as you take for granted. Period.

You are both ignorant AND a bigot, whether you care to acknowledge this or not. This reality is not contingent on your "belief". You are COMPLETELY ignorant on this topic, and significantly bigoted, and deeply arrogant. You are factually wrong, but so blind that you refuse to see.


Lol, dont pop a blood vessel man. How many times do you have to bash me with the word bigot? Want to do it some more?

The fact is I am actually consistent with my faith on this. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. It says a lot of things are sins too I might add. People dont follow it. Thats fine. I try to. Like I said, this is a religious argument for me. What you dont understand is that it is a religious argument for me. God pictured marriage to be like Jesus and his church. And it was first displayed with Adam and Eve. How I try to live my marriage is based of what Jesus did for His church. So, you see, marriage IS religious for me.

Also, what do you want from me? To say I think its ok cause I cant do that (I gotta be consistent with my world view right)? Or to say if they get tax brakes, covered under insurance, whatever it is, its ok? What exactly are they not getting now that you consider civil rights I have had to enjoy? Yes, tell me that. What rights do I have they dont? Lets see how many I object to (honestly, probably wont be many). What would satisfy you and say ok, he isnt a bigot anymore?

Then, while you are at it, please tell me who or what gives us rights as people. What are human rights and why should I follow these human rights. What authority outlines these things for us to accept and follow?

OR, you can just call me an ignorant bigot and attack me some more. That is also an option.

Also, its the weekend so have a good one! =) This firefox thing will be interesting for sure... Maybe it will unfold by Monday.

pmbAustin said,
That's a blatant and total lie. It's sad you believe that.

Your statement is so ludicrously ignorant, it's the exact same as saying "You as a straight man could always marry another straight man." You'd never want to, because it's not in your nature.


It's ironic that these days, people treat their mental preferences and desires as immutable, and their physical bodies are the changeable ones. Even for this, a choice was made.

There are many silent ones who made the choice to be responsible and start a normal, run-of-the-mill nuclear family in spite of their slightly off-centre sexual preferences, and they are empowered by their own choices.

So don't go around shouting freedom, because you lose half your freedom when you make a choice. Most of us simply stick to the choice of being the gender of our genes and our private parts.

trieste said,

It's ironic that these days, people treat their mental preferences and desires as immutable, and their physical bodies are the changeable ones. Even for this, a choice was made.

There are many silent ones who made the choice to be responsible and start a normal, run-of-the-mill nuclear family in spite of their slightly off-centre sexual preferences, and they are empowered by their own choices.

So don't go around shouting freedom, because you lose half your freedom when you make a choice. Most of us simply stick to the choice of being the gender of our genes and our private parts.

The way I see it (and where the guy replying to you doesn't stay calm to explain) is: You are free to have your religious view on gay marriage. I won't fault you or "call you a bigot" because this is your religion and your right to have. That is the beauty of this country: you can have your beliefs and I can have mine and neither are more correct.

Here is the problem though: religion is never supposed to be used for decision making by the government. Once you put yourself aside the gay marriage debate and view the argument as a whole, the only reason it isn't legalized federally is purely on the traditional and religious definition of what is considered to be "marriage". THIS is the problem: the government should solely view marriage as a contract and any religious definition of it should fall under each religion to define under their congregation.

Honestly, it seems like everyone thinks their opinion about marriage is correct and wants the government to validate that. I challenge that notion with the golden rule: I'll mind my business and you mind your own. Once you fully enforce the separation of church and state clause of the constitution, you'll see that there is no more misunderstanding of marriage from the government's view and we can put this issue behind us.

What people don't seem to realize is that this stuff cuts both ways.

Where it a few years ago, would you support calling for a CEO to step down because of a donation they made in support of gay rights? Like his choices or not, he has to have the right to make his own choices just as you do... It's a slippery slope.

Utterly false equivalency.

In one case, we have this CEO who doesn't believe in equal rights or equal treatment under the law and actually went so far as to donate to a cause that sought to strip a subgroup of his Fellow Americans of the same basic civil rights he himself takes for granted... a position based on hatred, intolerance, and flat out ignorance.

In the other hypothetical case, you have someone supporting equal rights and equal treatment for all people under the law.

In no way are the two cases even remotely similar. It's called a false equivalency. Its' a logical fallacy used to prop-up irrational and unreasonable opinions and positions.

There's no slippery slope here.

If he had donated big to the KKK White Supremacist organization, I doubt you'd be coming back with this kind of "reasoning", am I right? No different.

Not quite the same things, one is refusing to allow you to do something whereas the other is supporting your right to do as you please. In the land of the free it's an important distinction.

pmbAustin said,
Utterly false equivalency.

In one case, we have this CEO who doesn't believe in equal rights or equal treatment under the law and actually went so far as to donate to a cause that sought to strip a subgroup of his Fellow Americans of the same basic civil rights he himself takes for granted... a position based on hatred, intolerance, and flat out ignorance.

In the other hypothetical case, you have someone supporting equal rights and equal treatment for all people under the law.

In no way are the two cases even remotely similar. It's called a false equivalency. Its' a logical fallacy used to prop-up irrational and unreasonable opinions and positions.

There's no slippery slope here.

If he had donated big to the KKK White Supremacist organization, I doubt you'd be coming back with this kind of "reasoning", am I right? No different.


It IS no different. Both were popular viewpoints at their time and considered acceptable.

What you are arguing is that others only have freedom of speech and choice when they agree with YOU... How long until you find a situation in which YOUR freedoms of choice are being infringed upon because someone disagrees with you... Will that also be fine?

Slippery slope.

I'm gay, and I would rather support someone's own freedoms, because I know (and understand) what it means to lose those... We JUST got through a period without even the most basic freedoms of speech, action, and choice. It is irrational and ridiculous to then impose similar restrictions on others and NOT expect that to come full circle in one form or another at some point...

I'm not really clear on what you're arguing. It SEEMS like you're arguing that people should be free to take rights away from other people without consequences. I sure hope you're not arguing that.

He has all the freedom of speech he can handle (this isn't a first amendment issue in the slightest). What he doesn't have -- nobody has -- is freedom from consequences of his speech. If he wants to be a publicly ignorant bigot, he's free to do so. If he wants to advocate stripping his fellow Americans of the same basic civil & human rights he takes for granted for himself, he can do so. But he's not guaranteed anywhere by anyone that he is free of the consequences of taking such positions.

I'm really sick and tired of people advocating equality and equal treatment being considered the exact same as those advocating intolerance and second-class citizenship for others. They're not "the same", and insisting that intolerance be tolerated in the name of 'tolerance' is just stupidity.

This guy made his own bed, and he gets to lie in it. More power to those who choose to stand up to his brand of ignorant bigotry and intolerance, to call it out, and shame it. It's one of the few ways our society has moved forward in history... towards more tolerance more egalitarianism, more true, real freedom and liberty and justice FOR ALL, not just the chosen few wealthy straight white Christian males that feel they're the only ones that deserve it all.

pmbAustin said,
I'm not really clear on what you're arguing. It SEEMS like you're arguing that people should be free to take rights away from other people without consequences. I sure hope you're not arguing that.

He has all the freedom of speech he can handle (this isn't a first amendment issue in the slightest). What he doesn't have -- nobody has -- is freedom from consequences of his speech. If he wants to be a publicly ignorant bigot, he's free to do so. If he wants to advocate stripping his fellow Americans of the same basic civil & human rights he takes for granted for himself, he can do so. But he's not guaranteed anywhere by anyone that he is free of the consequences of taking such positions.

I'm really sick and tired of people advocating equality and equal treatment being considered the exact same as those advocating intolerance and second-class citizenship for others. They're not "the same", and insisting that intolerance be tolerated in the name of 'tolerance' is just stupidity.

This guy made his own bed, and he gets to lie in it. More power to those who choose to stand up to his brand of ignorant bigotry and intolerance, to call it out, and shame it. It's one of the few ways our society has moved forward in history... towards more tolerance more egalitarianism, more true, real freedom and liberty and justice FOR ALL, not just the chosen few wealthy straight white Christian males that feel they're the only ones that deserve it all.


It seems as though you are attempting to twist my words. I would certainly hope this is not the case, as I'm not a fan of this rather juvenile practice.

To be clear. I support gay rights. I personally don't understand the argument those against gay rights have. HOWEVER, just as the gay community expects others to respect their freedoms and opinions, so too do others deserve the same.

I find it absurd for you to support the same treatment for others that you are railing against. Rights are rights whether you agree with how someone uses those freedoms (or their opinions) or not.

Had the rights of the LGBT community been respected, discrimination would never have even been an issue. ANY restriction on another's rights or freedoms is discrimination, and just because the tables have turned does not magically make it O.K. or morally just.

Discrimination and limitations on an individual's rights and freedoms never leads to something good.

Ignoring of course that his opinion in no way affects his ability to run the company, this entire argument has nothing to do with "protecting gay rights", it's about beating down someone you disagree with and silencing a difference of opinion. Limiting freedoms...

If the employees can no longer work in his presence I suggest they leave and be replaced with people who put work first, instead of all this left-wing rubbish.

Ok, let's me bet about this one : it wasn't a consensus but a small group of employees claimed it in representation of all employees.

One thing that strikes me in the comments of this article is the use of opinion, but one thing that is important to note is public and private opinions are two different things and should be treated as such.

If an individual publicly supports a cause that flies in the face of others there will be backlash especially when said individual takes the reigns of a company that publicly supports another cause, a cause that is very important to their employees then that will cause ripples within that company.

I don't care what his views are. He created javascript, the worse language in history. that is why he shouldn't be CEO. He's done enough harm to the web.

neonspark said,
I don't care what his views are. He created javascript, the worse language in history. that is why he shouldn't be CEO. He's done enough harm to the web.

So, if I'm reading you right, he's ####ed all web developers up the arse, and wants to make amends by opposing gay rights.

One's figurative, the other literal.

So I'm a gay guy and an unapologetic, outspoken advocate of equality. I think this whole thing -- asking him to step down -- stinks, in principle.

I can illustrate it pretty simply:

I'm an atheist and I find religious people very tedious at times. I find the notion of "god" ridiculous, kind of like Santa Claus for grownups (be good or you don't get any presents / go to hell forever!). But just as I can't help being gay, and just as I didn't choose it, I could no more choose to believe in the supernatural than they could stop believing -- it's just part of who they are and if I am to demand they respect me for who and what I am, I damn well better be prepared to make the same allowances for others.

This man is wrong to oppose equality, don't get me wrong, but part of being a free human being is the right to be wrong within the limits of the law, isn't it?

At my last job, I managed a team of over a dozen people, several of whom were quite religious, a couple of whom were devout evangelicals. I have been "out" since way before it was safe or smart, so everyone at work knew that side of my life, they knew my partner (been together 12 years), and it was no big deal.

We all respected each other and we all got along. If I had an issue with their inane religious chatter at times I smiled and kept my mouth shut because, even though that talk has no specific place in the workplace, I wasn't going to run a damn bootcamp where it was "head down, no talking!" all the time. In exchange, if they ever found my "lifestyle" upsetting, I certainly never knew about it.

In fact, it may be that they were more accepting of me than I of them, at times. Or maybe not, none of us ever let on in any case, as was appropriate. A lifetime of having a certain sort of people up in my business all the time, telling me how vile I am for just existing, has given me, maybe, just a little bit of hypersensitivity and bitterness toward certain religious types, you know? But I was a professional and they were professionals and we did our jobs, because THAT was what we were in that place to do, to the best of our abilities.

So I let them be my example, and I tried to be theirs, and we all more than just got along, by the end. When I left the company to move to Australia there was a big party and they all came, every one of them. There were tears and genuine, warm well-wishes all around. My partner was there and was shocked and moved at how sad everyone was to see me go, what a tight-knit group we'd become: gay, straight, black, white, Asian, male, female, ages 23 to 60's, from an assortment of religious backgrounds.

Over the years, despite our differences, we'd become like a big extended family.

And yet, there were more of them than me. They could have asked me to step down for being gay, for being an atheist, for saying things in MY PRIVATE LIFE about believers, in moments of frustration and anger, that were more than unkind. I've done that. I still do it. There ARE believers who are contemptuous and seek to beat others down, and I am not soft-spoken when I meet them, but these were not those people.

So just because this man thinks what he thinks and feels what he feels, there's no reason to believe he can't put that in a box where it belongs while he does HIS JOB, if he's a professional.

Is there any evidence that he'd behave unprofessionally? Any evidence that he'd bring his prejudices, whatever they might be, to work with him? Until there is, he deserves the benefit of the doubt and these damn thought police need to shut the hell up. Or should we all expect to be treated as if we'll behave at our very worst all the time? Who'd ever get hired for anything?

He worked for that $1,000 he spent (for nothing, it turns out) defending that stupid anti-gay marriage lawsuit, and he can damn well spend it however he wants. Judge his personal life by that if you want to, but judge his professional life by how he conducts himself AT WORK.

If I wanted to spend $1,000 of my hard-earned money on atheist outreach or some other stupid, useless thing, should I be blacklisted, even though I could work quite efficiently with true believers, in harmony, every damn day of my professional life?

What the hell is wrong with these people? "I don't agree with you on something, so I can't work with you." Really? They're not asking you to be his best friend forever and ever, so shut up and do your job and let him do his until he gives you a PROFESSIONAL REASON to cry foul.

A lot of people here have always said Firefox is gay. ;-). I'm sick to death of the whole thing, I don't care where you put your junk, I shouldn't even know you're gay, straight or whatever else. What people do off the job is their business.

I think it is sad people are missing the obvious point. The CEO of a popular company should not be saying "I endorse gay marriage" or "I am against gay marriage" or expressing any opinion about social issues AT ALL. He should not say "I like religion" or "I hate religion".
This is real life people, and not an internet forum where we all freely express out opinions.

As a company representative, 1) it is bad PR to have opinions on controversial issues 2) anything he says reflects on his employees.

Yes, he is entitled to having an opinion. However, he should be professional enough to abide by the job requirements.
A CEO should be diplomatic.

That's corporate culture turning ppl into the fags of today! We would DO ... SAY .... and now even THINK .... ANYTHING which would make our brand SELL.

If defending an unnatural act as gay marriage is socially & morally correct, so should be expressing one's opinions!!

Sadly ... We humans are very quick to disregard the rights of whom we don't agree with!!

I wouldn't want to work for or support someone who has actively worked to prevent me from having the same rights and benefits under the law regardless of whom I love and marry.

I find it unfortunate that it's so difficult for people to have constructive debates about LGBTQ individuals and equality. I guess it's because for many people, their beliefs on this have roots in faith or religion, and I have no idea how one out-debates faith.

Commenting is disabled on this article.