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Mozilla CEO resigns following anti-gay marriage backlash...

08 Apr 2014

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has resigned from his role following news he'd financially supported measures to block marriage equality.

Receiving a huge backlash after making a US$1,000 donation to the Proposition 8 campaign during the 2008 Presidential election, which aimed to ban marriage equality in California, Eich has now been forced to leave office.

"Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it," wrote Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla, on the company's official blog.

"We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

"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. We’re sorry. We must do better."

According to Baker, Eich made the decision for Mozilla and their community. "Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech," she wrote. "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 organisational 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.

"We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to 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. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community."

While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web in the eyes of Baker. "So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better," she wrote.

"We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla."

What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed, with Baker insisting the company plans to be open about where they are in deciding the future of the organization.

"However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open Web," she wrote.

"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. We are stronger with you involved.

"Thank you for sticking with us."

Was Brendan Eich right to resign as Mozilla CEO? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below