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Chalk One Up For OkCupid, As Brendan Eich Has Stepped Down As Mozilla’s CEO

By / 04.03.14
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OkCupid users who were greeted with the dating site’s request to boycott Mozilla and Firefox will be happy to know that they can now return to looking for local hunks and hotties to spend the rest of their lives with on whichever browser they please. In a blog post today, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker confirmed that in the wake of the backlash from the revelation that new CEO and Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich had donated to California’s gay marriage opposition effort, Proposition 8, in 2008, he has indeed stepped down.

The announcement comes after yesterday’s report that Eich repeatedly refused to comment on his donation, nor would he resign, telling The Guardian, “I don’t want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going. I don’t believe they’re relevant.” Whether or not he thinks they’re relevant seems to be moot now, as Baker’s statement admits that the board is uncertain as to who will replace Eich, but it also celebrates the power of the Web.

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. 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.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. 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 organizational 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. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.

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. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week. 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.

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.

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